Juan Luna’s long-lost masterpiece ‘Hymen, oh Hyménée!’ returns to the Philippines after a century

For over a century, the artistic world yearned to lay eyes on Juan Luna’s long-lost masterpiece, “Hymen, oh Hyménée!”.

Now, after an arduous journey spanning continents and decades, the revered painting is finally reintroduced to the public.

Jaime Ponce de Leon, with a sheer passion for preserving cultural heritage, spearheaded the triumphant return of this awe-inspiring work of art to its rightful place in the Philippines.

Determined to share Luna’s brilliance with the world, Jaime collaborated with the Ayala Museum in 2022 to commemorate the 125th Anniversary of Philippine independence, providing the perfect occasion to unveil this masterpiece to an adoring public once more.

Speaking at the Ayala Museum, Jaime shed light on the significance of Luna’s triumphs, saying “Paris was the ground zero of art. Luna also won an award, but that was in Madrid [for the ‘Spoliarium’], and Madrid was the—you would call it provincial, or you know in simpler terms—Palarong Pambansa. And this painting [‘Hymen, oh Hyménée!’] won in Paris, which was like… the Olympics of art. So this put him in the pantheon of the greatest artists of the world.”

The acquisition of “Hymen, oh Hyménée!” marked a milestone for Jaime, as he acquired the painting in 2014 after an exhaustive search. The acquisition itself was a testament to his commitment to preserving artistic legacies.