.I've been inside this Old Legislative Building a numerous times already, but never did I look beyond the mixes of pigments and shapes of the art works inside. Normally I would just stroll inside, look at a painting, read its label then move on to the next piece of art. I really don't know how to appreciate an artwork, how to interpret its symbolism and allegory.
Good thing I have learned something from my Humanities class. And that something helped me to look beyond the strokes of paint brush, mixes of pigments and combinations of shapes. Thanks to my professor, Ms Peña, for waking the artist in me.
Our final exam in Humanities involves art appreciation inside the National Art Gallery of the National Museum. And so we went there last Tuesday (10/04/2011).
| The National Museum has two major galleries: 1) the National Art Gallery which occupies the Old Legislative Building, and the 2) Museum of the Filipino People which occupies the Old Finance Building. The National Art Gallery has the collection of the works of the National Artists as well as the works of the Masters Luna and Hidalgo. The other gallery, the Museum of the Filipino People, contains priceless artifacts and archaeological findings including the famous Manunggul Jar.
Since the National Art Gallery is found at the Old Legislative Building, you will find at the facade two bronze statues of prominent legislators during the Commonwealth of the Philippines. They're Manuel Quezon and Sergio Osmeña, both became president of the Philippines.
The first gallery upon entering is the Hall of the Masters, or Bulwagang Luna at Hidalgo. Of course you will find inside the works of Juan Luna and Felix Hidalgo. These two are masters of fine arts who won the gold and silver in Madrid, they're actually activists during Rizal's time. Luna's masterpiece, no less than the "Spoliarium", dwarfed all other works inside the hall. Fronting it is Hidalgo's "La Tragedia de Gobernador Bustamante" which is also stunningly beautiful.
|"Spoliarium" by Luna|
|"La Tragedia de Gobernador Bustamante" by Hidalgo|
Other galleries contain the works of other great artists such as Fernando Amorsolo and Carlos "Botong" Francisco. We were fortunate that they allowed us to take pictures inside (without flash).
|"The Mother's Revenge", a work of Rizal. Jose Rizal is a good visual artist and a sculptor as well|
|Botong Francisco's "Evolution of the Philippines Medicine"|
|an unfinished portrait by Amorsolo|
|sketch version of Amorsolo's "Fruit Pickers under the Mango Tree"|
|replica of the famous Manunggul Jar|
Another interesting place to visit inside the Old Legislative Building is its old Session Hall of the Senate of the Philippines. The historic hall have witnessed numerous sessions since 1926. It is currently under a major renovation, but colonial art is evident by the looks of the wall sculptures and columns inside.
|Old Session Hall of the Senate of the Philippines|
Before we left, we went first at the back of the museum where another work of Filipino craftsmanship is displayed. The "Diwata ng Lahi", a wooden boat used by our ancestors in crossing the waters of the Philippine Islands, is proudly seen from Taft Avenue.
National Art Gallery is free for 2011. The museum is celebrating their 110th Anniversary.
How to get into the National Museum
People may reach the museum through LRT line 1. LRT UN station is just a few meters away from the building. People may also consider riding jeeps that run along Taft Avenue, all of them pass by this building.
National Art Gallery
Museum of the Filipino People