William Ronald left the Toronto milieu of the Painters Eleven for New York in 1955 where his abstract paintings met with considerable success. The red under-painting visible through the composition's fissures reveals that "Monarch" was built up from blocks of colour. Providing energy and tension, the bold geometric forms create a central focus that extends out toward the edges of the canvas. Ronald consciously made this painting on a human scale to which the viewer could relate. The title further anthropomorphizes the geometric figure, suggesting a regal personage.