Publications and forewords


Prologue by: Alfredo García Alén

DO NOT SEEK, reader, in these pages only aesthetic beauty. Conde Corbal has poured into them, before his art, his inmense affection for his motherland. And he has searched as a subject, something that is a living and almost topical image of this beautiful corner of Spain: the strength of the unalterable archaic granite, in brotherhood with the purest faith and with the old traditions. His drawings are, on the one hand, a tribute to the masters of the noble art of the stonemasonry and, on the other hand, an emotional monument to the simplicity of the peasant soul…

Stone crosses, small sanctuaries, little souls and saints are in his book. And, with them and above them, is Galicia.

I matters little that in a scholarly field we discuss whether our transepts were born with the Romanesque or are one of the results of the influence of the mendicant orders; it will be useless here to link the small sanctuaries and little souls to residues of possible Neolithic cults. It will not prevent his intention either that the stone crosses want to scare away with its presence the terrifying appearance of the Santa Compaña at the village crossroads or that it sanctifies the old fertility rites on a bridge. Expiatory symbol, moving memory of violence, devout act or sanctification of pagan customs, they are all forever, something consubstantial with our landscape and a perennial sample of the faith of the Galician people.

It is curious to verify that some of these monuments are the work of great artists, who, when carving them, they followed the artisan way of making things. And other times they constitute a true masterpiece, in which the unknown author flaunts the mastery that our stonecutters have over the hardness of the granite.

Looking through these pages we will be surprised, once again, by the mysterious bond that unites the people of Galicia to those of French Brittany. And with this mystery, the no less astonishing of the permanence of the trade union traditions of our “arjinas”, who pride themselves on their work, scattered throughout the geography, but also as rooted in the earth as their own works.

This is how the author has made this series of drawings. In them he has put all his love for Galicia. And , with the illusion that his intention is understood, he places this book in our hands.