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Woman with Manton de Manila
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Why this is a

Woman with Manton is a fine example of a painting by a Filipino—one of the earliest Asians—who succeeded in breaking into the highly competitive beaux arts salon tradition in Europe. Here Juan Luna uses the very themes that concerned Western portrait painters: convention, values, and traditional objects. The lady with her back to the viewer poses with “props” that are quintessentially Iberian: the embroidered manton, possibly a product of the Galleon Trade, a somber black dress, and a painted fan. Among the Spanish, dressing was a combination of tradition and ritual and Luna’s setting underscores the themes of tradition and heritage.

History of the Object
Juan Novicio Luna was the first Filipino artist—one of the first Asians—to achieve international acclaim, winning the First Gold Medal for the monumental Spoliarum at the Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes in Madrid in 1884. Earlier, he won a silver medal at the Madrid Exposition in 1881, the same year that he painted Marquesa de Monte-Olivar. As a pioneer in Philippine artistic expression, Luna laid down the cornerstone upon which the Classico-Romantic tradition in Philippine art was founded. Towards the end of the 19th century, Luna turned to the art historical movement known as Realism, depicting social inequities in stark contrast to the idealized representations of the earlier Romantic tradition. This portrait, along with La Marquesa de Monte Olivar (1881) and Woman with Manton de Manila (ca. 1880s), are some of the jewels among the Juan Luna paintings in the museum collection. Woman with Manton de Manila is painted along color schemes already employed by the artist in the past, like the bluish green obtained by layering two colors. The donor of this artwork is Mrs. Mercedes Zobel McMicking who inherited the two paintings from the late Trinidad Zobel Tremoya, the original owner. Ms. Tremoya was the daughter of Don Fernando Zobel de Ayala and granddaughter to Don Jacobo Zobel Zangroniz, founder of the tramway system in Manila. It is believed that the artist Juan Luna traveled 15 years (1884—1899) throughout Spain, France, and the Philippines. Luna, the Philippine’s most acclaimed painter, garnered numerous prestigious prizes in art competitions. He lived in various European cities until his return to the Philippines in 1894. He returned to Spain in 1896 and died in Hongkong in 1899 on his way back to the Philippines.

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Oil on canvas 
112.5 cm x 77 cm 
Creator name
Juan Novicio Luna  
Creator date
Where it was made
Spain; Madrid 
Time period
AD 19th century ~ AD 19th century 
Creation date
19th Century; Ca. 1880s 
Gift of Mercedes Zobel McMicking in 1992 
This photograph and information pertaining to the artwork pictured herein may be used only once and only for the purpose of the Virtual Collection of Masterpieces (VCM) project. The image may not be cropped or manipulated. Credits (title of artwork, artist, collection/owner, and Ayala Museum) should always be included when publishing this photograph. 
References: Capistrano – Baker, et al. Pioneers of Philippine Art: Luna, Amorsolo, Zobel Transnationalism in the late 19th – 20th Century. Manila: Ayala Foundation Inc., 2006. Paras-Perez, et al. Pioneers of Philippine Art: Luna, Amorsolo, Zobel. Manila: Ayala Foundation Inc., 2004. Pilar, Santiago. Ladies Conservative and Modern: Two Repatriated Lunas, 1992.  
Ayala Museum 
Ayala Museum 
Credit line
Ayala Museum collection 



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