About the Piece
In The Spanish Era, Francesco Ricardo Monti depicts the conquest of the country by the Cross and the Sword. Before the prostrate figures of our ancestors stands an Augustinian friar bearing aloft the cross, while a soldier, impressive in the carapace of his uniform, brandishes a sword that looks veritably like a burnished cross. In the background is an anchored Spanish galleon – a cargo ship – the kind which sailed the Pacific for over 250 years. Monti’s arrangement of the figures leaves no doubt as to who the conquerors were and who it was that they vanquished.
On the subject, the Jesuit writer Miguel A. Bernad remarks: “Much as some may deplore foreign influences, the fact is we have been subjected and have assimilated them. They have been part of ourselves. There are some among us who would like to exclude foreign influences. They would like to see a ‘pure Filipino culture’ without any admixture of Spanish or American or Chinese or Indian influence. Desirable as such a culture might be, it does not exist. We are as we are, as we have been shaped by history.”
Francesco Ricardo Monti
88" x 96½"
G/F Lobby, Administration Bldg.