National Treasures

The Exiled

António Soares dos Reis (1847-1889)


Carrara marble

Inventory sheet

One of the most important works of 19th century Portuguese sculpture, O Desterrado (The Exiled) was inspired by Alexandre Herculano’s poem, Tristezas do desterro (Sorrows of Exiled). It was Soares dos Reis’ final exam piece in his sculpture course and was made in Rome, where stayed at the Instituto de Santo António dos Portugueses to finish his scholarship abroad.

The marble work’s emotiveness is conveyed by the nostalgic posture of the figure sitting on a rock beaten by the sea. In a broader sense, the work presents us with the image of a solitary, pensive man, which is closely linked to the idea of evasion in the romantic imagination. The longing, the desire to return to the home land, the nostalgia for home, have seemingly formed a dominant state of mind in the seafaring experience of the Portuguese, a plane in which O Desterrado (The Exiled) assumes a higher dimension, one of collective representation.