Born: October 23, 1857
Died: December 7, 1899
Juan Luna, The Great Painter, was born in Badoc, Ilocos Norte to Joaquin Luna and Laureana Novicio. He studied at the Ateneo de Manila and enlisted for Maritime service but later quit to continue studies in painting. In 1876, he studied at the Academia de Dibujo y Pintura in Manila which was managed by the famous teachers Agustine Saez and Lorenzo Guerrero.
In 1877, Luna went to Spain to specialise in the art of designing and entered Escuela de Bellas Artes in Madrid. The Philippine colonial government chose Luna as pensionado to Europe. He was given a pension of 600 pesos per year for four years and in return, Luna would paint a picture every year to be used in the various government buildings.
While in Europe, Luna was accompanied with his teacher, Alejo Vera. He made his debut as a professional painter for his painting Death of Cleopatra in 1880. In 1884, he was awarded a gold medal for his Spolarium, his best painting at the time.
He transferred his studios to Paris in 1884 and married in 1886. Luna returned to Manila in 1894.
He was imprisoned along with his brother, Antonio Luna as suspected revolutionaries.
Juan Luna was pardoned and returned to Spain to work for the release of his brother.
There he joined other famous Filipinos such as Dr. Jose Rizal and Marcelo H. del Pilar.
In 1898, Juan Luna was designated as a revolutionary diplomat in Europe by General Emilio Aguinaldo. Luna died in Hong Kong from a heart attack.