Period: Early Republic
1865 - 1939
Topes de Collantes, Trinidad, Cuba
Topes of Collantes, Trinidad, Cuba, ca. 1930
oil on canvas
8 x 12 inches
Gonzalo Escalante Díaz was born on January 9, 1865 in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, and died on August 28, 1939, in Havana, Cuba. Escalante studied painting in Mexico City during 1880 to 1884 and then traveled to Madrid, Spain, where he continued to study painting from 1884 to 1888 at the Academy San Fernando. In 1888 he exhibited artworks at the Exposition Universal de Barcelona and shortly afterwards, in 1890, he moved to Cuba and established residency in the city of Guantánamo. There in the Oriente province of the Island he intensified his artistic endeavors, and by 1918 to 1920 he was totally dedicated to painting as the only means to provide for a family composed of his wife, Carmen Preval, and five children. His preferred subject matters were landscapes, marinas and the occasional portrait.
By 1931 Gonzalo Escalante moved to Havana and there he established friendships with Fidelio Ponce and other well-known artists. In 1937 he exhibited two works at the Beau Arts Salon sponsored by the Círculo de Bellas Artes. During those years the gallery and art supplies store La Venecia, located in Old Havana, represented the artist and sold his work to the public. Various Gonzalo Escalante’s works are part of the permanent collection of the National Museum of Cuba, in Havana.
We are grateful to his son Gonzalo Escalante Preval for this biographical information.