187th Birth Anniversary of Joaquim Teixeira Lopes

24 de February, 2024

Portuguese sculptor and ceramist José Joaquim Teixeira Lopes, or Teixeira Lopes (Father), was born in São Mamede de Ribatua, in the municipality of Alijó, on 24 February 1837. His many sculptures include the statue of Passos Manuel in Matosinhos and the statue of King Pedro V in Praça da Batalha in Porto.


At the age of 13, José Joaquim Teixeira Lopes went to work as an apprentice in the studio of Manuel da Fonseca Pinto, professor of sculpture at the Porto Academy of Fine Arts, making ship bow ornaments, where he stayed for six years.


He also studied at the Porto Industrial School and, with two teachers from the Academy, João António Correia and Francisco José Resende, he developed his drawing and clay modelling skills.

He then spent a year in Paris, where he studied with the famous sculptor François Jouffroy and, on his return, devoted himself intensely to ceramics. At the Ceramics Factory of Devesas, of which he was the founder, partner and main artist, he created a drawing and modelling course, which eventually gave rise to the Passos Manuel Industrial School in Vila Nova de Gaia.


His numerous works include the statue of Passos Manuel in Matosinhos, the statue of King Pedro V in Porto’s Praça da Batalha; the Baptism of Christ relief in bronze in the baptistery of Porto Cathedral, with the original plaster cast in the Igreja Matriz de S. Mamede de Ribatua; the Ponte das Barcas disaster, which took place in 1809; the statues “União faz a força” (“Unity makes strength”), “Filho pródigo” (“Prodigal Son”), “Caridade” (“Charity”), “Conde Ferreira” (“Count of Ferreira”), and various allegorical statues.


José Joaquim Teixeira Lopes (father of sculptor António Teixeira Lopes and architect José Teixeira Lopes) was also a tile painter and creator of dozens of painted terracotta figures depicting regional figures and customs. Given the large number of artists he taught or who worked with him, Teixeira Lopes (Father) was one of the most influential art figures in Portugal during the Romantic period.


He was honoured with the Order of Christ, a decoration awarded to him by King Luís, and won several prizes in national and international exhibitions. José Joaquim Teixeira Lopes died in 1918 in Vila Nova de Gaia and is buried in the family chapel in his hometown.


He was a creative ceramist and an innovative pedagogue, rightly regarded as the first promoter of the “Gaia School” of sculpture.


Photo @Reserved Rights