signed and dated 1980 (lower right)
oil on canvas
34" x 90" (86 cm x 229 cm)
Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist
The true quality of Galicano’s rapid development can, in fact, only be seen in his renditions of trees and historic architecture, which are numerous here and display a remarkable facility and boldness of execution. This landscape painting of Toledo, Spain, displays a suppleness of brushwork, a candor in the treatment of light and richness of tonality that reveals the direct influence of the French impressionists.
In the best landscape tradition, he frames the scene from both the upper and lower areas. Galicano has achieved this view by defining the horizon with a turreted architectural skyline and giving a slight bird’s eye view of the trees in the foreground. He has created the illusion of distance more thoroughly in this painting than in most of his landscape works.
As an interplay between the two dominant images, Galicano has contrasted the solidity of the light monochrome architectural edifices with the softer yet darker rendition of the trees. The painstaking treatment of the trees is counterbalanced by the delicate architectural details of the town on the horizon. Galicano has been concerned with the recession of space and his composition had been carefully structured into the basic elements of foreground, middle ground, and background. He pushes the illusion of a fabled town at the far distance to the extreme.
Rather than giving an illusion of reality and depth, the Gothicized structures are almost abstract in their composition. He has cleverly contrasted the weight and three-dimensionality of the almost illusory skyline with the softer expanse of the trees that lead to the foreground. The architectural weight of the turreted town in the horizon is further counterbalanced by the large heavily tiled roof and brick wall at the foreground, both of whose tilting, bird’s eye view perspective seem to drop out of frame. The brushstrokes provide visual equivalents of natural objects—such as brushstrokes symbolizing the bricks on the wall and the pantiles on the roof—which make an impact on the spectator just as they had been executed with immediacy.