Submerging Into the Spoliarium in Manila, Philippines
Standing almost 23 feet in height, Philippine National Artist Juan Luna’s Spoliarium is the fine arts equivalent of The Gladiator for the late 19th century, portraying the grit and violence of gladiator contests during the Roman era. Dark colors mix in with the passionate reds as onlookers both inside and outside the painting display varying expressions of wonder and disgust. The Spoliarium dominates the Main Gallery of the National Museum, engulfing any who choose to stand before it. Amidst the sobriety of the museum, it continues to rage, harkening back to a time of maltreatment and discrimination, when a Filipino uprising was at Spain’s doorstep.