Salvo in the 80s: Light and FormLondon
Leonforte 1947–2015 Turin
Signed, on the reverse: "Salvo 86"
Oil on canvas
70 x 50 cm (27 1/2 x 19 3/4 in.)
ProvenancePrivate Collection, Milan.
LiteratureMatteo Galbiati, ed., Salvo: un'arte senza compromessi, exh. cat. Dep Art, arte moderna e contemporanea, Milan, 2017, pp. 92-93, ill.
ExhibitionsMilan, Dep Art, arte moderna e contemporanea, Salvo: un'arte senza compromessi, 18 October–23 December 2017.
In this joyous painting, the sun begins to set on a beautiful summer day in the countryside, with a landscape populated by vegetation characteristic of Italy. A tall palm tree stands at center of the undulating terrain with its outcrops of rock, its fronds exploding in an irregular star formation against a brilliantly yellow sky. Flanking it and bordering the composition are two tall stone pines, their distinctive, umbrella-like green canopies rendered in forms reminiscent of puffy clouds. A robust conical cypress stands at left, and further examples of each species recur in the distance at left. Standing in the shade of the palm, one small tree in the foreground is rendered in impossibly pastelline pink and purple tones. Indeed, each landscape element, touched at a different angle by the sun, is carefully rendered in pale but saturated hues, reflecting the almost blinding quality of the summer sunshine, even late in the day. Closest to the viewer is another tree, streaked with a reddish light, its barren branches a marked contrast with its fellows, suggestive of the timeless epic poem of birth, death, and regeneration that defines the narrative of the natural world.