Bandera Filipina

This painting (Bandera Filipina) is both the first known artistic depiction of the Philippine Flag and the last known dated work of art by Juan Luna before his death from cardiac arrest in Hong Kong on December 7, 1899. It was made as a “souvenir” to Dr. Ferdinand Blumentritt, the very close friend (as Luna himself was) of Dr. Jose Rizal. This watercolor piece was dated March 21, 1899.

Luna was visiting Blumentritt in Austria with Felipe Agoncillo and they stayed at Leitmeritz (present-day Czech Republic) for at least three weeks. The two Filipinos were in Europe publicizing the plight of the Philippine Republic, which since the recent outbreak of the Philippine-American War dated April 8, 1899, saw the nascent government under Emilio Aguinaldo retreating steadily before the American military offensive.

Kept by the heirs of Blumentritt after he died in 1913, this historic work of art was donated to the National Library of the Philippines during the centennial commemoration of the birth of Dr. Jose Rizal in 1961.

Currently on loan from the National Library of the Philippines and displayed at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

National Museum of the Philippines

You may want to read: