Luis Monroy began his formal training at the old San Carlos Academy in 1862. An outstanding student from the very start, in 1863 he was awarded a copper medal for his achievements in the drawing class. Roman Charity is noteworthy due not only to its author´s technical excellence, but also to his ability to handle sensitive topics. The picture tells the story of an imprisoned old man destined to die of starvation, whose daughter, in despair at being unable to free her father, upon visiting him in his cell, suckles him at her own breast in order to save him. The said story is apparently based on a classic old tale, regarding charity as a virtue that should be exercised even under the most adverse circumstances, that became popular in the XVIIIth and XIXth centuries. This theme was much in vogue during the eighteen-seventies and some researchers argue that its popularity may have stemmed from the debate about the management of charitable institutions which sprang up after the running of such centers was placed in state hands by the victorious Liberal faction. Previously, such institutions had been managed by the Church, and the Conservatives insisted that this was fitting, given that charity is a religious virtue. The fact that the scene portrayed by Monroy takes place in lay surroundings appears to confirm that he favored the separation between charity and Christianity. Independently of the topic being dealt with, this work is outstanding due to the precision with which the artist employed all the pictorial resources at his disposal in order to ensure that the daring scene in which the daughter breastfeeds her father did not transgress the bounds of good taste that prevailed at that time. This is one of the painter´s most successful works and was hence sent, along with his Prodigal Son, to be shown at the New Orleans Exhibition in 1884. It was transferred to the MUNAL from the collection of the National Fine Arts Institute in 1985.