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Viale Santa Panagia is a street which runs through the ancient Greek quarters of Tyche and Akradina in Syracuse, a city that Guttuso visited frequently in the 1950s. His depiction of houses as simple geometrical blocks could be seen as an attempt to discover their ‘essence’ as houses. Guttuso used sombre shades with occasional accents in vibrant red, his signature colour, and applied the paint with a combination of palette knife and paintbrush. The paint is handled more loosely in the painting’s foreground than in the houses themselves and the sky.

September 2004