My first ever opportunity to visit the National Museum of Fine Arts was given by my Art Appreciation subject in college. I was reluctant then, and I only intended to show up because I needed the ticket for proof that I visited the museum. I came back a year and a half later, with a different purpose and perspective. Then, I found myself back again, eager to see and learn more.
The National Museum of Fine Arts in Manila is an art museum that houses a vast collection of paintings and sculptures by classical Filipino artists. The museum was formerly known as National Art Gallery. You can find some artworks by well-renowned artists such as Juan Luna, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, and Guillermo Tolentino in the museum.
I’ve been to the museum four times already and it never fails to amaze the f out of me. Every. Damn. Time. At first, I thought an hour would be enough to explore the entire museum, but I found out later on that each gallery could take up so much of your time. You will find yourself staring in awe and wonder at each artwork before proceeding to the next one. I learned that if you really want to appreciate the art and immerse yourself in its beauty, it takes a little more while to look at it than you originally planned.
The National Museum of Fine Arts also houses Juan Luna’s Spoliarium, the artist’s most celebrated oil-on-canvas painting. It is the centerpiece of the museum and undeniably one of the most hauntingly beautiful works of art in there. It stands at four meters tall and it is seven meters in length.
of arrayed art and empty hallways;
of high ceilings and framed oddities
The National Museum of Fine Arts building has a beautiful classical facade that accentuates Corinthian columns and sculptures that are inspired by the Renaissance period. The neoclassical building was originally known as the Old Congress Building and later on, became the home to the Philippine Senate until the year 1997.
I was deeply fascinated by all the artworks. I cannot help but admire the Filipino artists who exerted so much passion and creativity into their own masterpieces in order to inspire fellow countrymen, evoke nationalism, and give pride to the Philippines.
Whether you are a history and art buff or someone who is just creatively curious, a visit to the National Museum of Fine Arts is something you should not miss. On the other hand, if you are none of the above and you are just looking for a place to go within the Metro this weekend, you should still consider checking out the National Museum of Fine Arts and its neighbor museums. It’s definitely worthwhile. Not only you will be rewarded with visually pleasing works of art, you’ll also learn a lot about our history!
The National Museum of Fine Arts is located at Padre Burgos Avenue, Ermita, Manila. It is open from 10:00 AM until 5:00 PM every day except Mondays. There is no entrance fee.