Fernando de Castro Museum House


Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905)

Portugal, Caldas da Rainha

Glazed, polychrome faience

Inventory sheet

Kept inside the bedside table of the collector’s bedroom, this ceramic spittoon created by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro is a good example of how the artist brought social and political criticism from newspapers into his work.

Despite being a common object of everyday use at the end of the 19th century, its value lies more in its criticism than its usefulness. However, its hygienic function reinforces that criticism. It’s like saying, “Well, let’s go spit on this damn moneylender! Who, to top it all, offers loans at interest rates of 50% per month”, which can be made out in the inscription on the green lenses of his glasses.