This was Escalera’s very first oil on canvas attempt dated 5/12/1946.
He was 17 years old. There may have been others, as well as prior,
but this is the only piece of record. The piece portrays a young
lieutenant (Escalera used himself as the figure head) leading his men
bravely into battle while one of his comrades lies seriously wounded.
Even at this tender age of his artistic development the viewer can
clearly see that Escalera was already striving towards not only
realism but also depth and perspective.
A fun fact is the battle depicted is the battle of Chapultepec; young
cadets defending their country and protecting their flag to the point
of throwing themselves on it instead of surrender. It was a request
from one of his teachers. Years later his teacher passed away and
one of Escalera’s friends ended up with the painting. Many years
later after he retired back to Mexico, during a class reunion, his
classmate gave it back to him.