Espanya y Filipinas

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España y Filipinas (Spain and the Philippines) 248.92 x 80.64 cm. 1890. Lopez Memorial Museum and Library.

España y Filipinas (translated: Spain and the Philippines) is a painting by Juan Luna y Novicio done in oil on a tall and narrow canvas measuring 248.92 x 80.64 cm. It is also known as La Madre España guiando a su hija Filipinas en el camino del progreso (translated: Mother Spain Guiding the Philippines on the Road to Progress) and is part of the Lopez Memorial Museum and Library Collection.[1]


Showing "Mother Spain" escorting "Daughter Philippines" up a staircase, it is an allegory that suggests the possibility of Philippine progress with the assistance of Spain.[1]

The painting shows a romantic vision of the Philippines as a colony of Spain, an academic style adopted by artists in the late Spanish Colonial Period.[2]

History and context

Juan Luna painted this artwork at the height of his career, following acclaim for Spoliarium. There are many variations of España y Filipinas. He gifted one canvas to his friend Pedro Paterno, which is now part of the National Gallery Singapore Collection.[3] Another was commissioned by the Spanish Ministry of Overseas Affairs to be shown at the 888 Universal Exposition in Barcelona.[4]

According to historians, the way that the two figures are painted show reformist ideas towards a more equitable colonial relationship with Spain. However, it was also used as a form of colonial propaganda by Spain.[4]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Pilar, S.A. "España y Filipinas". In CCP Encyclopedia of Philippine Art, 1st ed., Vol. 4, 239. Philippines: CCP Publications Office, 1994.
  2. Aguila, Ren. Re-Reading History: A Review of Complicated, Lopez Museum. Ateneo Art Gallery. Accessed on 7 May 2021.
  3. Katigbak-Lacuesta, Mookie. New emails reveal link between ‘Spoliarium’ boceto and ‘España y Filipinas’ acquired by National Gallery of Singapore. ABS-CBN News. Accessed on 7 May 2021.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ting, Kennie. España y Filipinas (Spain and the Philippines), Juan Luna, the Philippines, 1884, oil on canvas. National Heritage Board of Singapore. Accessed 7 May 2021.



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