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Family Background

Born in Badoc, Ilocos Norte, on October 23, 1857

Third among the seven children of Don Joaqun Luna de San Pedro y Posadas and
Doa Laureana Novicio y Ancheta
Brother of Numeriana Novicio Luna; Manuel Andres Novicio Luna; Remedios Novicio
Luna; Jose Novicio Luna; Antonio Novicio Luna; and Joaquin Damaso Novicio Luna.
His four equally famous brothers namely:
Manuel, 1855, a violin virtuoso;
Jose, 1861, a physician;
Joaquin Damoso, 1864, governor, congressman, and senator
Antonio, I866, writer and general of the Philippine Revolution Army.
Early in his life, the family moved to Manila and lived in Trozo.


Juan Luna was sent to Ateneo Municipal de Manila where he obtained his Bachelor
of Arts degree (equivalent to the present-day high school diploma).
Luna later enrolled at Escuela Nautica (Academia Naval) and became a sailor.
(ESCUELA NAUTICA now Philippine Merchant Marine Academy in San Narciso,
After five years of theoretical courses and practical sailing to Asian ports, he
obtained the certificate of piloto de altos mares tercer clase (pilot of the high seass
third class).
Whenever he was anchored in Manila Bay, he took drawing lessons under the
illustrious painting teacher of Ermita, Manila, Lorenzo Guerrero.
He also enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts (Academia de Dibujo y Pintura) in
Manila where he was influenced and taught how to draw by the Spanish artist
Agustin Saez.
Juan entered the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in Madrid, Spain, there
he obtained an award for outstanding color, composition and antique studies but
did not stay long.
He apprenticed himself with Alejo Vera, a professor of the said school, whom he
accompanied to Italy in 1879 when the later went to fulfill commissions there.


Juan Lunas victory in the Madrid Exposition of 1884 earned him the admiration of
womenone of them was Paz Pardo de Tavera.
Paz and Juan easily crossed paths because the Pardo de Taveras opened their
home in Europe to ilustrado or intellectuals.
The two fell in love with each other, and eventually tied the knot on December 8,
The marriage produced two children: Maria de la Paz, who died at a young age, and
Andres, who later grew up to become one of pre-war Manilas most prominent
Juan Luna and his family lived in the house owned by his mother-in-law, Juliana
Gorricho. It was located at Villa Dupont, a group of houses in Paris which shared
the same street address.

Final Years

Luna went back to the Philippines and traveled to Japan in 1896, returning during
the Philippine Revolution of the Cry of Balintawak.
September 16, he was arrested, along with his brother Antonio, for complicity in
the Katipunan revolt.
He was pardoned by the Spanish courts on May 27, 1897 and was released from
prison and he traveled back to Spain in July.
He traveled back to the Philippines in December 1899 upon hearing of the murder
of his brother Antonio by the Kawit Battalion in Cabanatuan.
He traveled to Hong Kong and died there on December 7, 1899 from a heart
His remains were buried in Hong Kong and in 1920 were exhumed and kept in
Andrs Luna's house, to be later transferred to a niche at the Crypt of the San
Agustin Church in the Philippines.


The jealous Luna frequently accused Paz of having an affair with a certain Monsieur
Dussaq. Finally in a fit of jealousy, he killed his wife and mother-in-law and
wounded his brother-in-law, Felix, on September 23, 1892. He was arrested and
murder charges were filed against him.
* Luna was acquitted of charges on February 8, 1893, on grounds of temporary
*He was ordered to pay the Pardo de Taveras a sum of one thousand six hundred
fifty one francs and eighty three cents, and an additional twenty five francs for
postage, in addition to the interest of damages.
Just like his brothers death, Juans own untimely end is also steeped in
controversy; that he died of poisoning is not a far-fetched premise, since his own
friends noted the suddenness of his death and how healthy he looked before he