Carlos V. Francisco

Progress through Education

1912-1969 Philippines

This work was created as a mural for a Manila textbook publishing firm and it depicts the arrival and spread of education in the Philippines, dramatizing the importance of education. The lower left part of the painting shows the Malay people who came to the islands in antiquity, and their sultan points to a Catholic priest from the period of Spanish occupation who is shown blessing a couple. The upper left depicts Christian missionaries sent during the American occupation of the islands. In the center of the canvas, the father of the modern Philippine independence movement, Jose Rizal, is shown with his mother, learning how to read and write. The layering of this teaching scene with a large background figure resembling Christ on the Cross suggests the tragic fate of this national hero. The edges of the canvas are filled with the spirits of the dead, images of ignorance and faithlessness, all being banished by the spread of education. Francisco was nationally famous for large works on the history of the Philippines, including the murals in the Manila City Hall, and his work brought a new dimension to the fields of wall painting and historical painting. (UM)

Work description

Title Progress through Education
Name of the Artist Carlos V. Francisco
Year 1964
Medium oil on canvas
Size 263.5×324.8 cm