My afternoon was suddenly freed up, so how best to spend the time? The sun’s out and a walking tour is out of the question lest I feel like having a heat stroke. Shopping is not an option. I’ve also met my quota of 2 movies max in a week. I don’t feel like reading a book as the one I’m reading now is way too serious, too profound for my taste but nevertheless deserving of a read. I’m not hungry (yet) and I’ve been considering a walk in Chinatown when the heat is more bearable. Between NOW and a dimsum and lumpia fix in Chinatown, there’s the National Art Gallery.



Juan Luna’s Spoliarium


Felix Resurrecion Hidalgo’s “Assasination of Governor Bustamante”


In my first entry, I advised going to the Museum on a full stomach. This time around, I did the rounds while my stomach constantly reminded me of kutchay dumplings in this “hole-in-the-wall” dimsum place” off Ongpin Street. Without breaking a stride, I walked up the stairs to the Art Gallery. Sans camera. Sans bag. What I needed filled my pockets.







Siri was good company when I was strolling around Madrid as it is here within Museum walls. There was no crowd so I was able to spend as much time in the Hall of Masters Luna and Hidalgo. Almost mindlessly, I walked right up to the center of the hall between Luna’s “Spoliarium” and Hidalgo’s “Assassination of Governor Bustamante”. With each masterpiece, I inched closer, as if I’d find new meaning as I view the painting up close. I took my time snapping photos with my iPhone camera. Easily, I spent 10-15 minutes in this single hall. It’s not everyday after all that you find yourself ALONE in the Hall of Masters. No crowds. No student groups. No noisy chatty teenagers! No DLSR-toting tourists. 🙂







Both masterpieces have so many characters and it is quite interesting to read the facial expression, mannerism, body language and “aura” of each character. Now, that’s coming from a layman. I have neither the aptitude nor the training for art but I see what I see. Whatever and however the painting makes me feel is completely my own. Regardless of who painted what, I derive a certain sense of meaning. Intended or not by the artist, this is WHAT or HOW this and that painting made me feel.






I dare not share my sentiments and personal interpretations with anyone. No pretensions here. Both Luna and Hidalgo intended those masterpieces to convey a message. Whether i did get that message or not is my problem. But some may wish to dwell on the “separation of Church and State” or lack of it upon viewing Hidalgo’s “Assassination of Governor Bustamante”. Or how Luna’s very Roman scene in Spoliarium may invite discussions on human rights violations or the Filipinos’ sufferings during that time. The serious artists may deliberate on the significance of the red shade and the dominance of bodies throughout the painting, the interplay of light and shadows or whatever sounds artsy. I have no interpretation. I asked Siri and Siri delivered a well-researched Wikipedia spiel. Then I snapped away. So what I have to share with you are these close up photos from my iPhone cam. Tell me what you think!