Interpretation: Marxism, Feminism, and Post Colonial Artworks

Spoliarium by Juan Luna. Rome, 1884. A National Cultural Treasure. National Museum Declaration No. 1-2006.


Marxism interprets social change and analyzes class relations within society and it applies in the critique of the development of capitalism. It also defines the dominant and the oppressed people, and social class status.

Spolarium is a very elaborate example of Marxism because it clearly shows the dominant and the oppressed society. There are vaious expressions, emotions, and hardships shown. Personally, the atrocious thing about this is that it's a form of entertainment and nobody seemed to care. I see gladiators dying, women mourning, the tumult of the crowd, the shouts of slaves, whispered prayers, and several more others.

The Spoliarium, often misspelled Spolarium, is a painting by Filipino artist Juan Luna. The painting was submitted by Luna to the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in 1884 in Madrid, where it garnered the first gold medal (out of three). In 1886, it was sold to the Diputación Provincial de Barcelona for 20,000 pesetas. It currently hangs in the main gallery at the ground floor of the National Museum of the Philippines, and is the first work of art that greets visitors upon entry into the museum.I admire Juan Luna because he is a great artist with inspiring works and burning passion in painting. He did a significant job in his "Spoliarum"

This was finished after 8 months! It sure is known as an award winning masterpiece! It was a work well done and an inspiration to all of us. Even after staring at the work for uncountable times, I never seem to get tired of it. It truly is an amazing work.

In today's society, this kind of torture is not popularly done anymore. Though the modern version, in my opinion, would be related to corruption. It is by far the those people's current entertainment for themselves and the oppressed would stay silent because of the various consequences, threats, and staying powerless. It cannot be served with justice itself if you don't have the control. Yes, I sadly agree that money is the root of all evil and triumph of guilt.

Las Lavanderas by Fernando Amorsolo. Oil on canvas. 1964. GSIS Collection.


Feminism is a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment.

This beautiful painting is likely a feminist art, though not that loud voice about guerillas, independent women, and vice versa, but simply just females at work. During the time this painting was portrayed, I think probably earlier or 1800s, you would never imagine a man being a "lavandera" or doing a household like a househusband. Though I could imagine a society of men without women, and I reckon that would result to something stinky, sorry for the word because I just remembered a cartoon which visions men that lived without any women, and they pretty much looked so disorganized and needs women in conclusion. That's why women are here, but of course that is not the main purpose. Men can sometime cannot do what a woman can. The popular word of advantage of a woman, like said, is their so called multitasking powers.

I love the aesthetics of women showed in here. The composition has the right colors, place, activity, and the precise subject of women with young and fair body.

Personally, this painting mirrors what a woman typically is. They are beautiful, attractive, compulsive, and smart.

My favorite quote about this theory, in my opinion, is “You educate a man; you educate a man. You educate a woman; you educate a generation.” ― Brigham Young

In today's feminism related to this artwork, we can see a big good change. Since today is modern, most of us use washing machines so the load work can be downsized, and many other household chores have been improved for more convenience. Additionally, women can have education and can be employed.

A Tragic Lesson (The Fall of Bataan) by Gene Cabrera. Oil on canvas. 1957. National Museum Collection.

 Post colonial

Post colonialism is an opportunity for the subaltern, which is us, to "speak". And by Gene Cabrera's interpretation about this horrid pain and suffering, he was able to share this atrocious truth successfully which we all needed and for the future generation to not repeat this history.

This is a very deplorable painting as it publicize the ugly truth of war and colonialism. There's nothing good that comes out of it, I believe it serves as a waste of life and energy but I guess that's life. The details and the message of the painting was impeccable.
This artwork deliberately shows the oppressed people, and though without the image of the dominant body of people it can visibly be seen when you analyze the cause and effects of this art's perception.

In our society and the whole world today, people die every single minute not because of war but because of poverty and illnesses, this can be another kind of interpretation about this painting because it shows the horrible interpretation of death.

Thank you for reading!



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