It was in May 1884, when Luna shipped the famously large Spoliarium to Madrid for the year's Exposición Nacional de Bellas Artes. Being the first recipient of the three gold medals awarded in the exhibition, Luna gained recognition among the art critics and connoisseurs present. Fame followed and on June 25, 1884, Filipino and Spanish nobles organized an event celebrating Luna's win in the exhibition. This succession of eventswere enough for his works to be published in the magazines of the day including La Ilustracion Artistica.
Published by Montaner y Simon, the first issue of La Ilustracion Artistica appeared on January 1, 1882. Initially Montaner y Simon gave priority to engraving in lieu of photography but in the last years of the 19th century photography was to grace its pages. In its succeeding editions, around 1887 onwards, the magazine would pioneer the inclusion of translations of stories from Japan in Spain.