Bas Relief: Industrial Era

Francesco Ricardo Monti

About the Piece

Monti portrays the Industrial Era through the portrayal of the development of infrastructure, transportation and communication systems.

While it could never be called a revolution, as what happened in the United States and Great Britain in the 18th and 19th century, industrialization started to make inroads into Philippine life from the early to the middle part of the last century. In the last segment of his bas-reliefs, Monti conveyed the message of industrialization, leading away from a purely agrarian economy.

Using a dramatic, diagonal composition, a bridge-like panel vaulting upwards into space, the sculptor succeeds in delivering the energy and velocity of a dynamic life-altering progress in transportation, communication, infrastructure, and industry, all powered by the inventions and innovations of science and technology – the driving force towards the future.

In the lower upstage section – diagonal too in composition – muscle-hewn Filipino workers, hard at work in simultaneity, strain to man the machines that are technology’s tools and implements. With his own love for his adopted country, the Philippines, the Italian sculptor Monti made visible a people well on the way to realizing their rightful destiny.

At once a sympathetic foreigner but with an objective eye and a resident immersed in the life of the city, Monti witnessed and experienced the progress of education and industry in the country that he learned to love. In a letter written and sent to a friend abroad, he wrote: “Many Europeans believe that the Philippines still needs to be civilized. One must tell these people that there is much to learn about the Philippines, especially in terms of honesty and sincerity! The passion the people have for music and the arts is surprising. Here you find that the most modest workers are capable of reading the most complicated construction designs with surprising ease. … Manila opened her arms to me and has given me my work and fulfillment.”

  • Artist/s

    Francesco Ricardo Monti

  • Date


  • Medium

    Bas Relief

  • Dimensions

    88" x 96 1/2"

  • Location

    G/F Lobby Administration Building

See Other Artworks