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141 years since the death of the pioneer of portrait realism in Portugal

26 de February, 2024

Miguel Ângelo Lupi, a portraitist of bourgeois society between 1870 and 1880, is considered the pioneer of realist portraiture in Portugal. Born in Lisbon, he died on 26 February 1883.

 

The painter is represented in the long-term exhibition at the Soares dos Reis National Museum, namely in the portraits of Pedro Paulo Ferreira de Sousa, 1st Baron of Pernes and brave fighter in the Battle of Pernes in 1834, and his wife, the Baroness Helena de Águeda Bom (pictured).

 

In these paintings, the artist highlights the two personalities by depicting them against backgrounds worked in gradations of colour, giving the illusion of depth. The couple is portrayed eleven years after the baron’s death, which would have forced the artist to use an image, while his wife still posed for the artist.

Miguel Ângelo Lupi was born in Lisbon on 8 May 1826 to an Italian father and a Portuguese mother. At the age of 15 he entered the Lisbon Academy of Fine Arts. From 1841 to 1843 he was a pupil of Joaquim Rafael in the Historical Drawing class, winning two prizes. A pupil of António Manuel da Fonseca in the Historical Painting class from 1844 to 1846, he left the Academy that year to attend the Polytechnic School.

 

Between 1849 and 1860 he held various positions as a state official, one of them in the province of Angola. From these years we know of some works that were not very relevant to the painter’s career. In 1859, at the age of 33, he was invited to paint a portrait of King Pedro V for the Lisbon Court of Auditors, where he worked. With the pleasure of the king and the Academy, he obtained a state scholarship to complete his apprenticeship in Rome. Housed in the Hospice of Santo António dos Portugueses from the autumn of 1860 until the end of 1863, he never sought direct instruction from a master.

 

Interested in studying anatomy, the nude and portraiture, he copied works by Titian, Corregio, Rubens, Andrea del Sartro and Velasquez in small formats. He also works from live models, local scenes and figures and sketches small compositions inspired by literary themes such as Faust and Marguerite. He prepared the historical painting D. João de Portugal as his final proof as a State scholarship holder.

 

On his return from Rome and then in 1867, he visited Paris. This contact proved crucial in the painter’s formation. Touched by the realist current, particularly the work of Courbet, he introduced new intensity to the analysis and interpretation of the themes he worked on in the future, especially in portraiture. Arriving in Lisbon in 1864, he was immediately appointed Academician of Merit and Professor of Figure Drawing at the Lisbon Academy of Fine Arts, and in 1868 he took up the post of Professor of Historical Painting, which he held until his death on 26 February 1883.

 

 

Image Credits
Cover Photo: Occidente Magazine, Volume VI, Nº 153 of 21 March 1883 – Hemeroteca Digital

146th Birth Anniversary of Acácio Lino

25 de February, 2024

Born in Travanca, Amarante, on 25 February 1878, Acácio Lino Magalhães went to Porto to attend the Liceu Central. When he had finished, he enrolled at the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, with Aurélia and Sofia de Sousa as fellow students. As a student at the Academy, he took part in the exhibitions organised there by “students considered worthy of distinction”. At the Academia Portuense he was a disciple of Marques de Oliveira.

 

In 1904 he left for Paris as a state pensioner, where he continued his studies with Jean Paul Laurens and F. Cormon. Cormon. From there he often sent artworks to be exhibited at the Academia Portuense. In Paris he had contact with Constantino Fernandes, Alves Cardoso, Sousa Lopes, João da Silva and Simões de Almeida (nephew). After his stay in the city, he travelled to Italy.

On his return to Porto, he applied for the position of Professor of Historical Painting at the Academy, where he began a long teaching career, leaving as a retired professor. Author of a vast body of artwork, he distinguished himself above all as a landscape painter, a painter of rustic scenes and an animalist. He was a sober interpreter of portraiture, of which he has a vast gallery.

 

Acácio Lino dedicated himself to large historical compositions, showing a concern for historical rigour. His favourite themes were the great dramas of Portuguese history: the artist is the author of the famous painting “O Grande Desvairo” (The Great Insanity) (from Porto City Hall), which depicts the tragedy of Pedro and Inês. He decorated the Artillery Museum (1907) and the National Assembly Palace (1921 – 1922). In Porto, in collaboration with José de Brito, he painted the ceiling of the S. João National Theatre.

 

In Portugal, Acácio Lino exhibited regularly from 1910 at the salons of the Porto Fine Arts Society and others, such as the Silva Porto Salon, receiving the Gold Medal for Artistic Merit from the City Council. In Lisbon, he won the Medal of Honour at the National Fine Arts Society, exhibiting “Moleirinhas da Minha Aldeia” and was consequently appointed professor at the National Academy of Fine Arts. The artist also received the Commendation of the Order of Santiago de Espada. In 1943, the National Society of Fine Arts organised an exhibition in his honour. Acácio Lino died in Porto in 1956.

 

Images
Arrancada (Snatch), Acácio Lino, 1928 @Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis
Palhaços Músicos (Musical Clowns), Acácio Lino, 1903 @Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis

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

Minister of Culture defends openness and dialogue in museums

23 de February, 2024

Today, the Minister of Culture, Pedro Adão e Silva, visited the Soares dos Reis National Museum, where he had the opportunity to visit the recently opened temporary exhibition Teresa Gonçalves Lobo and Domingos Sequeira: a dialogue in time, as well as Landscape, a temporary photography exhibition by José Zagalo Ilharco.

 

Accompanied by Pedro Sobrado, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Museus e Monumentos de Portugal, EPE, the Minister of Culture was received by Paula Oliveira, representing the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

 

The visit was also attended by the exhibition’s curator Bernardo Pinto de Almeida and the artist Teresa Gonçalves Lobo.

Pedro Adão e Silva said that the visit was motivated by his “interest and curiosity in seeing this particular exhibition [“Teresa Gonçalves Lobo and Domingos Sequeira: a dialogue in time”], because it corresponds to what a museum should stand for. In other words, the possibility of opening up and crossing paths between the collections that belong to the museum and the dialogue with what is currently being done on an artistic level.”

 

Considering that museums should not be seen as a kind of ‘dead archive’, where various pieces of historical interest are deposited, the Minister of Culture stressed the need to “stimulate the capacity for openness and dialogue [of museum collections] with contemporary art, in this particular case, the visual arts”, adding that “this dialogue and crossover is fundamental for museums to open up to society”, thus winning over new audiences.

 

Teresa Gonçalves Lobo (Funchal, 1968), whose career began more than two decades ago, focused from the outset on drawing as an expressive field in which she has developed remarkable research. She is represented in various private and institutional collections in Portugal and abroad.

 

Domingos Sequeira (Lisbon, 1768 – Rome, 1837), considered by some to be the most talented and original Portuguese painter of his time, played a fundamental role in the development of Portuguese art in the early 19th century.

 

The temporary exhibitions “Teresa Gonçalves Lobo and Domingos Sequeira: a dialogue in time” and “Landscape” will be open to the public at the Soares dos Reis National Museum until 28 April.

145 years since the painting ‘The Christian Martyr’

23 de February, 2024

Produced in 1879, the painting O Mártir Cristão (The Christian Martyr) by Joaquim Vitorino Ribeiro, which is part of the long-term exhibition at the Soares dos Reis National Museum, was exhibited in 1880 at the Salon (France) and was mentioned by the newspaper “Le Figaro”.

 

Joaquim Vitorino Ribeiro attended the Academia Portuense de Belas-Artes, where his teacher was João António Correia.

 

In 1873 he went to Paris to complete his artistic education, as a private and then state pensioner. There he studied with the famous professor of the School of Fine Arts Alexandre Cabanel, like his fellow countrymen Silva Porto, Henrique Pousão and Sousa Pinto.

He earned the epithet of Père Ingres for the obsessive concern and rigour of the drawing he used in painting, after the numerous studies and sketches he applied himself to. In his “cold and literary” compositions, historical themes stand out, such as “The Departure of Vasco da Gama for India” and “The Oath of Viriato”, as well as the most interesting biblical themes, good examples of which are “Christ in the Tomb” and “The Christian Martyr”, exhibited in Paris at the Salons of 1879 and 1880.

 

Acquired shortly afterwards for the Museu Municipal do Porto, the painting was exhibited in Madrid at the 1881 Exposition of Fine Arts.

 

In Porto, as well as exhibiting at the Triennials of the Portuguese Fine Arts Association (1869, 1874, 1881), he took part in the Art Exhibitions of 1888, 1889, 1893 and 1894. His works appeared regularly in the best-known exhibitions held in the city in 1917, 1927, 1932, 1933 and 1936.

 

Another facet of his personality was that of a passionate collector, filling his house with a large and interesting collection of pieces, which was transformed into the Vitorino Ribeiro House-Museum thanks to the donation made by his sons, Pedro Vitorino and Emanuel Ribeiro, to Porto City Council.

Casa da Família Vitorino Ribeiro @Arquivo Municipal do Porto
Casa da Família Vitorino Ribeiro @Arquivo Municipal do Porto

José Dominguez Alvarez was born in February 1906

23 de February, 2024

The son of Galician parents, José Cândido Dominguez Alvarez was born in Porto on 23 February 1906.

 

At the age of 20, he enrolled in the Architecture course at Porto’s School of Fine Arts, then switched to Painting, where he was taught by Dórdio Gomes, Acácio Lino, Aarão de Lacerda and Joaquim Lopes. He only finished his academic training in 1940 with a mark of 20 out of 20 and for the next two years he was a scholarship holder at the Institute of High Culture and a teacher at the Infante D. Henrique School.

 

In the meantime, as one of the most committed protagonists, he was part of the group of artists from the Porto School of Fine Arts who, in 1929, launched the manifesto “+ Além”, against academic teaching, against the naturalistic values of Marques de Oliveira, against art as a mundane phenomenon, an event that would mark his entire life of marginalisation in relation to established values.

José Augusto França included him in the second wave of Portuguese modernism, along with Mário Eloy and Júlio Reis Pereira. There is a spontaneity in Dominguez Alvarez’s paintings that results in an apparently naive composition of shapes and colours.

 

Fernando Lanhas characterised the artist’s production in different phases. In the red phase, which began in 1927, Dominguez Alvarez used intense, understated colours, while at the same time depicting a primary, urban landscape, such as the painting Aspecto da Sé do Porto (View of Sé do Porto) and the “factories” series.

 

In another phase, after a few inconsequential forays into abstraction, while maintaining the same colour, he returned to landscaping, with more technical maturity, returning to Porto and northern landscapes such as S. João da Ribeira in Ponte de Lima.

 

In 1936, Dominguez Alvarez held his only solo exhibition at the Silva Porto Salon. Two years later, his artwork was rejected at the Third Exhibition of Modern Art organised by the National Propaganda Secretariat, but was then accepted for the following year’s exhibition.

 

In 1942, months after his death, the first retrospective exhibition of his work was held, once again at the Salão Silva Porto, organised, among others, by his father and the painters Guilherme Camarinha and Dórdio Gomes and under the aegis of the Instituto de Alta Cultura, in which around 300 of his works were exhibited, without selection or criteria, and which was repeated the following year in Lisbon, at the Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes.

 

In the 1950s, various events brought his figure as a nonconformist and loner and the Alvarez Gallery was opened in honour of Jaime Isidoro and António Sampaio. In the 1980s, around the centenary of his birth, various events sought to position him in modern Portuguese art. For example, the magazine “Prelo”, published by the Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda, dedicated an issue to him and in 1987 the Secretary of State for Culture organised a retrospective exhibition of his work in Lisbon and Porto.

 

 

Photo: Paintings by José Dominguez Alvarez in the long-term exhibition at the Soares dos Reis National Museum

Cover photo: Self-portrait by José Dominguez Alvarez, oil on cardboard, undated @Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

José Teixeira Barreto: from Benedictine monk to painter and collector

22 de February, 2024

José Teixeira Barreto began his apprenticeship as a painter in the workshop of his father, a painter, gilder and woodcarver. At the age of 19, he took the Benedictine habit at the Monastery of S. Martinho de Tibães in Braga, adopting the name Frei José da Apresentação.

 

During this early phase of his life, he executed several paintings for the monasteries of Tibães and Santo Tirso. When he went to Lisbon to study drawing under Professor Joaquim Manuel da Rocha, he moved to the Monastery of S. Bento da Saúde (today the building of the Assembly of the Republic).

 

In 1790, five years after moving to Lisbon, he travelled to Rome to perfect his painting, visit Italian art museums and copy works of Classical Art. Among the works he produced there were two etchings dated 1794 and 1795, dedicated to his patron, and 41 engravings for the book “Scherzi Poetici Pittorici” by Giovanni Gherardo Rosse, published in the deluxe edition of this work (Parma, 1811), offered to Napoleon.

On his return to Portugal, he brought a collection of paintings with which he created a museum in the Tibães Monastery (dispersed after 1834 and which became part of the Museu Portuense, now the Soares dos Reis National Museum), relics of the virgin and martyr Santa Clara, deposited in the church of Terço (1798) and later transferred (1803) to the chapel of Bonfim, and three books of drawings by him, two of which now belong to the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Porto and the other to the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

 

In the post-Roman period, he produced the paintings for the high choir of the parish church of Santo Tirso, the canvas for the dressing room of the high altar of the church of the Venerable Third Order of S. Francisco in Porto (c. 1800), the canvas for the high altar of the parish church of S. João da Foz in Porto, paintings for the monasteries of S. João da Pendorada and Santa Maria de Pombeiro, and possibly two canvases for the monastery of S. Lourenço in Porto. João de Pendorada and Santa Maria de Pombeiro monasteries, possibly two canvases for the Porto church of S. Lourenço which are now kept in the Soares dos Reis National Museum (“S. Pedro showing the Eucharist” and “O Maná”), the portrait and self-portrait (Soares dos Reis National Museum) and a portrait of the painter Francisco Vieira, the Portuense.

 

Towards the end of his life, he applied to rejoin the Benedictine order. However, death surprised him on 6 November 1810. He was buried the following day in a shallow grave with the number 18 on the cross of the church of the Monastery of S. Bento da Vitória in Porto. José Teixeira Barreto left a valuable legacy, made up of his pictorial work and the paintings he collected.

 

Documentary source

Sculptor Lagoa Henriques died 15 years ago

21 de February, 2024

Author of the iconic statue of Fernando Pessoa in Lisbon’s Chiado district, Lagoa Henriques died on 21 February 2009 at the age of 85 from a long illness.

 

António Augusto Lagoa Henriques studied sculpture in Porto and at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Lisbon, where he exhibited for the first time in 1946. In 1950, 1952 and 1953 he won the 2nd and 1st Soares dos Reis Sculpture Prizes respectively.

 

He became a member of the National Academy of Fine Arts and made his international debut in 1953 at the 2nd São Paulo Biennial.

In 1965, 1967 and 1968 he took part in group exhibitions in Porto, Amarante and Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Brussels, Paris, Madrid and Luanda.

 

Some of his artworks are in private collections in Portugal and abroad and can also be seen in the Soares dos Reis National Museum (Porto), the Chiado Museum, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Museum (both in Lisbon) and the Museum of Modern Art (São Paulo).

 

Lagoa Henriques is represented in the Soares dos Reis National Museum’s long-term exhibition with Cabeça de Rapariga (Head of a Girl), dated 1953 (pictured). This is a portrait of a girl, cast in bronze and fixed to a cylindrical granite base. Front pose, smooth-skinned face, well-defined contours of the mouth, correct nose and eyes facing the viewer, outlined by thin eyebrows. There appears to be a small beret on his head and his hair, cut at chin height, is styled in two tufts, seen from the front.

 

A master and motivator of successive generations of artistic creators, Lagoa Henriques is responsible for the sculpture depicting the poet Fernando Pessoa on the terrace of the Café Brasileira in Lisbon’s Chiado district. He was also the author of notable drawings and sculptures, a poet, lecturer and collector of items as diverse as paintings, shells, books and tree trunks.

Cycle of Visits with Two Voices

20 de February, 2024

In March, the Soares dos Reis National Museum and the Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute of the University of Porto will begin a new partnership programme entitled “Views in Dialogue at the Soares dos Reis National Museum. Cycle of Visits with Two Voices”.

 

The initiative, in this first phase, is aimed at students and professionals from the Institute, offering themed visits that will explore the links between medicine, the life and health sciences and art, placing side by side the visions and perspectives of the Museum’s collection managers and university lecturers.

The aim is also to encourage students’ knowledge of and interest in various artistic and cultural expressions; to illustrate different visions of art and culture on themes of medicine and the life and health sciences and to promote new and diversified readings of the collections of the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

 

For the Director of the Soares dos Reis National Museum, António Ponte, this initiative “reinforces the institutional partnership with the Institute of Porto University, following on from the activity carried out in 2021/2022. As part of the “Other Places” programme, based on the Four Seasons allegory, the Soares dos Reis National Museum brought a series of four 17th century paintings to the Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute, which establishes a relationship with the different stages of the human being’s life. We are now opening the doors of the Museum to welcome the entire community for a cycle of visits that will certainly open up new horizons.”

 

Allowing cross-fertilisation between art and medicine, the cycle of visits now on offer will make it possible to see how art and science, two areas of knowledge often seen as distinct, can be allied and contribute to a better quality of life.

 

For the Director of Abel Salazar Biomedical Sciences Institute, Henrique Cyrne Carvalho, this is a proposal that “seeks to give continuity to a project that began in 2021, when we opened the doors to the Museum for the ‘Cycle of Life’ painting exhibition, but it is also the reaffirmation of our vision for an integrated and broad training of our students, where art plays a fundamental role in their development as professionals and as people”.

 

‘Fountains and Fountains – water and the city’, ‘Man, Animals and the Environment – from work, companionship to subsistence’; ‘Soares dos Reis and the Relation to Human Anatomy’, ‘Between Journeys, Portuguese and Genes’ are the themes of the visits to be made during the months of March and April.

Eugénio Moreira: ‘one of Portugal’s greatest landscape painters’

20 de February, 2024

Eugénio Moreira was an artist from the second generation of naturalists, although he was practically ignored during his lifetime. He died in February 1913, aged just 42, from mental illness.

 

Eugénio Moreira was honoured posthumously in an exhibition organised by his nephew, Fernando Ferrão Moreira, at the Ateneu Comercial do Porto (1956).

 

The Soares dos Reis National Museum has three canvases by him: an unfinished self-portrait, in which the painter depicts himself half-body, with palette and brushes and a saddened face; and his two most praised works: the landscape Vale de Penacova (pictured), which was exhibited at the Great Exhibition of Northern Portugal in 1933 and at the 1st Retrospective Art Exhibition (1880-1933) of the National Fine Arts Society in 1937; and the portrait Ferreirinha, exhibited in Lisbon in 1937.

Eugénio Moreira was born in Porto in 1871. He attended the Oporto Medical and Surgical School (1892-1895) and then transferred to the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Coimbra. In this city he socialised with the Boémia Nova group, maintaining friendly relations with the Porto writers António Nobre (1867-1900), Alberto de Oliveira (1873-1940) and, in particular, with Agostinho de Campos (1870-1944). He returned to Porto without having finished his degree, enrolling at the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, where he never graduated.

 

He lived in Paris for a few years, where he attended the Julien Academy and the Décluse Academy. He was a disciple of Jean Paul Laurens (1838-1921) and Benjamin Constant (1845-1902) and was influenced by painters from the Impressionist, Fauvist and Nabis movements. He visited Italian museums and temples, recording his impressions in travel guides.

 

Back in Portugal, he studied Portuguese landscapes and figures. He travelled through Minho, especially the Vila Praia de Âncora area, and Vale de Penacova in Beira, stopping off in the lands of the Mondego. In 1907 he exhibited at the studio of the sculptor Fernandes de Sá, his friend.

 

In 1955, Abel Salazar referred to the painter in this way: “Eugénio Moreira, the unsuccessful author of “Vale de Penacova” is, with Henrique Pousão, the greatest of Portuguese landscape painters. Between the two there are differences in quality, not in value: they are two visions, but equally elevated.”

 

Documentary source

Museum hosts Wine & Travel Week

19 de February, 2024

Wine & Travel Week’s professional meetings are taking place at the Soares dos Reis National Museum today and tomorrow, and include those responsible for wine tourism projects, agents and operators, tourist entertainment companies, specialists, associations and other professionals in the field.

 

Wine & Travel Week aims to position itself as a global event dedicated to luxury wine tourism, to boost projects and brands.

 

The galleries of the Soares dos Reis National Museum, a leading cultural and artistic institution with an international collection, will be “an inspiring setting for doing good business”.

Wine & Travel Week, a gathering that brings together professionals from all over the world, counts in this second edition with a delegation of over 100 buyers and specialized journalists in enotourism, joined by members from the capitals of the world’s major wine regions, the Great Wine Capitals (GWC). South Africa, Spain, France, India, England, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, and Portugal are some of the countries represented.

 

Among the event’s many parallel activities, the lunch on February 20th stands out, crafted by chef Rui Paula (holder of two Michelin stars at the Casa de Chá – Paço da Boa Nova restaurant), to be served at the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

 

It’s important to emphasise that, for the first time, Wine &Travel Week will have a guest region: Castile and León (Spain), which will take advantage of its presence at the initiative to stage the world premiere of the show “Merina: the Spanish gold. Oteiza”. The stage will be the Coliseum of Porto, in the late afternoon of February 20th.

 

Wine & Travel Week is an organisation of Essência Company.

65th anniversary of the death of Diogo de Macedo

19 de February, 2024

Diogo Cândido de Macedo was born in Vila Nova de Gaia on 22 November 1889. He stood out as one of the most important sculptors of the first generation of Portuguese modernist artists.

 

In 1944 he was invited to head the National Museum of Contemporary Art, a position he held until the end of his life. He died in Lisbon on 19 February 1959.

 

In 1902 he joined the sculpture course at the Academia Portuense de Belas-Artes, at the suggestion of Teixeira Lopes. He finished the course in 1911, the year he left for Paris. The sculptors Bourdelle and Rodin were major influences on his work.

In 1913 he took part in the Salon of French Artists and held his first solo exhibition in Porto. In 1915 he took part in the 1st Porto Humourists’ Salon, with drawings signed under the pseudonym “Maria Clara”.

 

In the following years, he divided his activities between Porto, Lisbon and Paris and, in 1921, settled in the French capital. This phase was marked by an intense social life and professional activity, sculpting, writing and organising exhibitions.

 

His Parisian phase includes the sculptural group L’Adieu ou Le pardon (1920), a gestural static work that combines a neo-romantic sensibility and a symbolist connotation with a cosmopolitan and modern formal and plastic dimension.

 

In 1926 he settled in Lisbon and in 1930 published his first work (14, Cité Falguière, memórias dos tempos de Paris). In the following years he continued to produce art, responding to private and official commissions.

 

In 1941, now widowed, he gave up sculpture and devoted himself to literary activity. He published biographies of artists, studies, booklets and prefaces to exhibition catalogues.

 

In 1944 he was invited to head the National Museum of Contemporary Art, a post he held until the end of his life. In 1946 he remarried and, two years later, he was commissioned by the Ministry of the Colonies to direct and accompany a travelling art exhibition in Angola and Mozambique.

 

In the 1950s, he was invited to organise the classification of properties of public interest, an activity he continued alongside participating in art exhibitions and writing reviews and essays on art and museology.

 

Source: National Museum of Contemporary Art in Chiado

Photo: Sculpture Cabeça de Rapaz (Head of a boy), by Diogo de Macedo, collection of the Soares dos Reis National Museum

Cover Photo: Diogo de Macedo @Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

Painter (and poet) António Carneiro: the ‘portraitist of souls’

15 de February, 2024

António Carneiro entered the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes in 1884, exactly 140 years ago, where he was a pupil of Soares dos Reis and Marques de Oliveira, among others. António Carneiro was also a poet, but his main work, ‘Soliloquies’, was only published in 1936, a few years after his death.

 

António Teixeira Carneiro Júnior was born in Amarante in 1872. The precarious circumstances surrounding his birth and childhood led to his being sent to the Barão de Nova Sintra Asylum in Porto at the age of seven.

 

Between 1884 and 1896 he attended the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, where he was a pupil of Soares dos Reis, João António Correia and Marques de Oliveira.

In 1897 he left for Paris, where he stayed until 1900, the year of the Universal Exhibition in Paris, to which he was invited and took part in decorating the Portuguese pavilion.

 

It wasn’t by learning at the Academy that the young man found answers to his questions: although he wasn’t indifferent to Impressionist aesthetics in particular, he identified more with Symbolist sensibilities.

 

António Carneiro was a mystical, melancholic and solitary man, a character not unrelated to the deprivations and difficulties of all kinds that he experienced. Filled with existential questions, he found in Paris, in that fin-de-siècle of great reflection and spiritual crisis, the ideal place to problematise his issues. It was in this context that the triptych “A Vida, feito Esperança, Amor e Saudade” (Life, made of Hope, Love and Longing) emerged, an emblematic work by Carneiro and Portuguese art, begun in Paris and presented for the first time in Porto in 1901 at the Misericórdia Gallery.

 

In Porto, his artistic career would develop in a very particular cultural context, and it was only in this context that his career could be understood. Painter and poet, “the most intellectual artist of his time”, he lived surrounded by a group of thinkers, poets, politicians and cultured men associated around the magazine “A Águia”. Founded in 1910, from 1912 it was the publication of the literary and cultural movement, the “Portuguese Renaissance”, set up in Porto. António Carneiro was artistic director of the magazine from its foundation until 1927, when it ceased publication. From 1918 he was a professor at the Porto School of Fine Arts and was appointed its director in 1929, a position he never held.

 

Throughout his career, António Carneiro mainly practised two genres of painting – portraits and landscapes – and made a living out of illustrations. He reluctantly accepted commissions for portraits of people with whom he had no affinity or simply didn’t know. Although he was referred to as a “portrait painter”, it was the landscape that attracted him most and which, in his work as a whole, best demonstrates the innovative potential of the artist who gave Portuguese art new values of modernity.

 

Between 1925 and 1927, he concentrated on a very intimate genre of painting: a series of church interiors that reflect his innermost feelings as a man torn apart by the death of his daughter (1925).

 

In 1929 he produced a composition, Camões reading the Lusiads to the friars of St Dominic’s, a work of synthesis that he completed towards the end of his life and sold in Brazil that same year.

 

As for the illustrations, the 42 drawings of the illustration of Dante’s Inferno, which are in the Soares dos Reis National Museum, reveal the best of his talent as a visionary poet.

 

On this subject, the Inferno – Dante’s Journey by the hand of António Carneiro exhibition is on display at the Lionesa Business Hub, as a result of a partnership between the Lionesa Business Hub, the Lionesa Group, the Soares dos Reis National Museum and ASCIPDA – Associazione Socio-Culturale Italiana del Portogallo Dante Alighieri.

 

The exhibition is free of charge and will be open until 30 March 2024, from 09h00 to 18h00.

St Pantaleon, patron saint of Porto for several centuries

14 de February, 2024

The cult of St Pantaleon has a long tradition in the Catholic Church. The 3rd and 4th century martyr was the patron saint of the city of Porto for several centuries until, in 1984, the city’s patron saint was changed to Our Lady of Vandoma.

 

Devotion to St Pantaleon, a doctor martyred in the ancient Greek city of Nicomedia in 303 AD, began in Porto through the influence of a group of Armenian Christians. According to reports from the time, this group is said to have arrived in Porto at the end of the Middle Ages, bringing with them the relics of the saint, which they deposited in the Church of São Pedro de Miragaia.

In 1499, by decision of Bishop D. Diogo de Sousa, the relics were transferred to Sé Catedral do Porto. A fragment of Saint Pantaleon’s skull was kept in the reliquary bust, which was used when visiting the sick.

 

This devotional object, which has been part of the Soares dos Reis National Museum collection since 1941, is one of the oldest reliquary busts known in Portugal. Due to the lack of similar objects, it is difficult to establish an exact chronology for its execution and to define the origin of its manufacture.

 

Throughout its existence in this institution, it has a long bibliography, having been the subject of multidisciplinary studies after its opening in 1999, materialised in 2003 in an exhibition at the Soares dos Reis Museum and in the catalogue that supported it, with the title “Esta é a cabeça de São Pantaleão” (This is the head of Saint Pantaleon).

 

With no known authorship, crafted in white and gilded and painted silver, enamels, gold and smoky quartz, the reliquary bust of Saint Pantaleon dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. It is classified as a National Treasure, due to its cultural value and significance for history and collective memory.

Artur Loureiro and the paintings made in Vila do Conde

11 de February, 2024

Artur Loureiro was born in Porto, in 11 February 1853. He began studying drawing and painting with the master and friend António José da Costa, later joining the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, where he continued his studies with João António Correia.

 

In 1873, he applied for a scholarship in Paris, which he would later give up in favour of Silva Porto. In 1875, he applied for the scholarship once more, this time in Rome, where he ended up joining the Círculo Artístico.

 

In 1879, the artist applied again for a scholarship in Paris, where he lived in Qartier Latin and attended the École des Beaux-Artes, where he was a student of Cabanel. Here he fell in love, becoming emotionally attached to an Australian woman, Marie Huybers, whom he married.

In 1884, physically weakened, he emigrated to Australia, settling in Melbourne. Only in the beginning of the 20th century did he permanently return to Porto, dedicating himself to the promotion of the arts. In his hometown, he set up a studio school in a wing of the now-vanished Palácio de Cristal, which became a space of reference, sought after by aspiring artists and admirers of the painter. There, he taught, painted, and exhibited.

 

He spent some time in Vila do Conde, where he produced several works. This fact is reinforced by the fact that, in 1933, the painting “Tio Francisco” (Uncle Francisco) was exhibited as part of the collection that, years later, was bequeathed to the Soares dos Reis National Museum and from which this figure of a man (Cabeça de velho – Old man’s head in the image) originates from. The background landscape of this painting places the representation in Vila do Conde, identified by the unmistakable presence of the dome of the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Socorro, located in the riverside houses of that city.

 

In this regard, we recall the article by António de Lemos, in which he writes:

«Artur Loureiro, that great artist who for so many years lived away from us, in that beautiful country, Australia, and who once here, a son of Porto, loving his nest with a special artist’s love, after his first exposition where he showed us that he was a delicate figure painter, with his portraits and admirably executed types, goes very close to Porto, to Vila do Conde and full of desire and filled with savoir faire, launches beautiful paintings on canvas that are like filigrees of painterly art. (…)

 

Our painters have been sketching landscapes all over the country and none, as far as I remember, had been painting to Vila do Conde. Perhaps because they thought there was nothing to paint there, and Artur Loureiro, who had been away from his country for twenty years, arrived and to settle down from his schoolwork went to that beautiful beach to rest, and what a rest it was, he returned carrying in his luggage delightful canvases, extremely beautiful. To want to mention the best would be to mention them all, however, I will note as primarily – A Senhora da Guia – then, the Azenhas, and of these, I don’t know if one gleams in the sun or the other, and which one was made by a sad morning of rain.

 

The main church, I also mention for its beautiful effect. Like a resounding stain, in that softness of colour, the curtains of the church make the painting stand out (here is where I am certainly mistaken, in having had a beautiful impression from the red that stands out from the painting, but that’s just me and there is nothing that bothers me).

 

The general Landscape of Vila do Conde, with its convent and its white houses, is beautiful.

 

The Past, a picture full of poetry and candour. Loke a poem of love, of pain and misery, that old woman sitting at the church door, where perhaps she was baptised, married, and her companion of many years was buried, perhaps a fisherman, whom she now mourns, begging for alms, in her miserable and anguished widowhood.

 

But let’s close this article, which is already too long. Before that, however, we’ll note two paintings, one of which is titled – Não voltará mais (He will never return), which is another poem of pain. Next to a beautiful tree in bloom, a rhododendron, a widow and a child gaze at the sea.

 

That gigantic and barbaric sea that has surely forever subdued the loved one of these two figures, insinuatingly beautiful in their silhouettes». [1]

[1] In «Notas d’arte», António de Lemos, 1906

135 years of the sculpture ‘Ismael’ by Augusto Santo

9 de February, 2024

Naturalist and symbolist sculptor, who signed his works as Augusto Santo, had a brief and troubled career. A constantly dissatisfied man, Augusto Santo destroyed part of his sculptural production.

 

Born in Coimbrões, Vila Nova de Gaia, on April 1st 1869. He attended the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes between 1882 and 1889, where he was a classmate and rival of António Teixeira Lopes (both enrolled on October 20, 1882).

 

In 1891, Augusto Santo acquired the tool of the deceased master Soares dos Reis before going on to study in Paris, where he settled for three years, benefiting from a private subscription from the benefactor Joaquim Fernandes de Oliveira Mendes.

In Paris, he settled in Rue Denfert-Rochereau, where other Portuguese artists such as Teixeira Lopes son resided. He came into contact with the Parisian artist Alexandre Falguière (1831-1900) and several compatriots, including the writers Eça de Queiroz (1845-1900) and António Nobre (1867-1900), the painters Carlos Reis (1863-1940) and Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso (1887-1918), and the art historian and critic José de Figueiredo (1872-1937).

 

In 1893, with the end of financial support and a lack of results, Augusto Santo was forced to return to Portugal. He then began working in his studio in Coimbrões and frequenting the Porto cafés of Praça Nova, where he met intellectuals such as Pádua Correia and Manuel Laranjeira, who described him as having a sad face, like a misanthrope sleepwalking through the crowd.

 

Among the few works that survived the destruction, the sculpture Ismael stands out, final course proof at the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, dated 1889. The original, in plaster, is preserved at the Soares dos Reis National Museum, where the bronze cast of the artwork is exhibited.

 

Romero Vila, a priest and researcher, wrote about this sculpture in 1963:

“Ismael, the final statue in Augusto Santo’s course, has its prosaically sad story as it could have euphorically happy, because it came from an inner effort and human consecration. They compare it to the famous “O Desterrado” (The Exiled) by Soares dos Reis, for the immense desolation and psychic torture that both sculptures depict of their authors. Diogo de Macedo dares to say that they are autobiographies of bitterness kneaded into clay with their own blood.”

 

Augusto Santo died at the Santo António Hospital, in Porto, on September 26th 1907, victim of tuberculosis.

184th Anniversary of the Birth of António José da Costa

8 de February, 2024

A private teacher of Henrique Pousão, João Marques de Oliveira and Artur Loureiro, António José da Costa was born on 8 February 1840 in Porto.

 

At the age of 12, he enrolled in classes at the Associação Industrial Portuense, where he was a drawing student of António José de Souza Azevedo. This teacher, upon discovering his artistic talent, convinced his father to enrol him at the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes.

 

In this Academy he studied Drawing, Historical Painting and Civil Architecture (1853-1865). He was a pupil of Tadeu de Almeida Furtado (Drawing) and João António Correia (Painting) and his painting was compared to that of two masters of Spanish Baroque, Ribera (1591-1652) and Murillo (1618-1682).

 

At the beginning of his career he painted portraits and landscapes, which he signed with the name António José da Costa Júnior. However, it was his still life paintings and compositions of flowers, especially camellias, which began around 1890, that made him well-known.

At the end of the 19th century, he witnessed the introduction of naturalist painting in Porto and, unlike other romantic artists, decided to follow the example of the new generation.

 

António José da Costa helped create the Centro Artístico Portuense. He collaborated with Arte Portuguesa, the first national magazine dedicated exclusively to the fine arts, for which he produced illustrations. He was one of the promoters of the Exposições d’Arte held in Porto between 1887 and 1895, together with Marques de Oliveira, Marques Guimarães and Júlio Costa.

 

In 1921, and in fulfilment of a personal vow, he produced a panel for the church in Ramalde depicting the Adoração do Santíssimo Sacramento (Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament). In his later years, he continued to receive drawing and painting students as well as being visited by former disciples such as Artur Loureiro.

 

António José da Costa died in Porto in August 1929. Several of his works are part of the collection of the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

 

Image text: Oil on wood Lilacs and roses (1920), António José da Costa @Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis

Cover image: Portrait of António José da Costa (1921), by Júlio Costa @Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis

110th Anniversary of the Birth of João Navarro Hogan

4 de February, 2024

From Irish descent, João Navarro Hogan was born in Lisbon on February 4th, 1914, into a family of painters. He is represented in several collections and museums, namely the Soares dos Reis National Museum, in Porto, the Chiado Museum and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation Modern Art Centre, in Lisbon.

 

He attended the general course at Escola Superior de Belas Artes de Lisboa from 1930 to 1931. Disbeliever of academic education, he left school.

 

Certain of his vocation as a painter, he remained self-taught, practicing painting alongside carpentry – his profession since 1930 and for more than 20 years. From this activity he learnt the rigour, precision and premeditation, characteristics that marked his work’s process as a painter. He was a student of Frederico Ayres and of Mário Augusto in 1937, on the night classes of the National Society of Fine Arts, it was in Van Gogh and in Cézanne that he found his first real masters.

Choosing the landscape as a theme by excellence, he interprets it exhaust and obsessively during five decades: “My landscape is born within and beneath the earth. The sky never interested me, and sometimes I even cut it off” (João Hogan, 1985). In the 1930s he learnt lessons from first generation Portuguese naturalists and from Cézanne’s constructed painting.

 

Painting outdoors on the outskirts of Lisbon and later on the Portuguese Beira Baixa region, he soon created his own style, marking his isolated course on the national artistic scene. With solid and rigorous forms, built during the search for synthesis, his unmistakable landscapes show a deep interest in the vastness and rudeness of the earth. Representing uninhabited places, they exude a silence full of meanings, emphasized by the absence of the human figure.

 

In 1957, he started working on engraving, under the influence of William Hayter, of whom he was a student. If the first engravings, made on wood, still have a realistic nature, the engravings on copper – including the chance provided by acid and the influences of surrealism – reach an enormous level of unreality, fantasy and even humour. Dedicating himself to this technique until 1975, he created an extremely lyrical work, of enormous diversity, truly autonomous from the work of a painter.

 

Founding member of the Sociedade Cooperativa de Gravadores Portugueses in 1957, he later directed engraving courses there. He created illustrations for books from 1960 onwards.

 

Chosen in 1971 to make one of the paintings that decorate the café A Brasileira, in Chiado, in Lisbon, he created a group 5 + 1 in 1976, which he exhibited the same year in Lisbon and Vienna, with the painters Teresa Magalhães, Júlio Pereira, Sérgio Pombo, Guilherme Parente and the sculptor Virgílio Domingues.

 

Image Text: Oil on canvas Alto dos sete moinhos (High of the Seven Mills,1954) by João Hogan @Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis

Cover Image: Oil on canvas Self-Portrait (1959) by João Hogan @Centro de Arte Moderna de Lisboa

Unprecedented exhibition of the artwork by José Zagalo Ilharco

2 de February, 2024

Until April 28th, the Soares dos Reis National Museum presents Paisagem (Landscape), an unprecedented exhibition of the artwork by José Zagalo Ilharco, an amateur photographer of great recognition, nationally and internationally awarded.

 

He dedicated himself specially to landscape photography, with focus on Portuguese cities Matosinhos, Leça da Palmeira, Porto, Lamego, Guarda and Penafiel. His photographic work, composed by more than 260 pictures, also includes a series of portraits of his relatives and friends, as well as the houses where he lived and their gardens.

 

The title of this exhibition is inspired by the namesake of the photograph of Rio Sousa, awarded in Brussels in 1895.

 

José Zagalo Ilharco was born on October 31st, 1860, in the parish of Sé, in the city of Lamego, and passes away on November 5th, 1910, in Porto where he became a successful businessman, among others, in the Insurance and Commerce sectors, having also dedicated himself, during his free time, to multiple cultural and recreational activities, with emphasis on amateur photography and floristry, interests he shared with his friend Aurélio Paz dos Reis, a pioneering Portuguese filmmaker.

 

José Zagalo Ilharco was a founding member and director of the Real Velo Club do Porto. In 1893, the year it was founded, he photographed a group of board members and the Velodrome, located at the back of the Palácio das Carrancas, where the Soares dos Reis National Museum is housed.

 

With a track for bicycles, the attraction of the space, and two lawn-tennis courts, the Velodrome welcomed new and rising sports among the city’s elite. José Zagalho Ilharco is the author of the only existing photographs of this equipment, highlighted in an article by Vasco Valente, then Soares dos Reis National Museum’s Director, published on the O Tripeiro magazine, in May 1946.

In 1947, his son Norberto, as a testament to his appreciation for his father’s work, compiled reproductions of his best photographs in two albums. All the works that make up this retrospective exhibition are the result of a selection from volume 2, exclusively dedicated to Paisagem (Landscape), whose photographs were printed at the Bazar Foto-Amador in Porto, on February, 1945.

 

This is the first ever exhibition of José Zagalo Ilharco’s photographic work, presenting a significant part of the works and documents from his estate.

 

Photographic Credits José Zagalo Ilharco @Private Collection

Soares dos Reis Museum on the Museu do Porto Neighbour’s Day route

1 de February, 2024

The Soares dos Reis National Museum is part of the itinerary of activities schedules to mark Neighbour’s Day, an initiative promoted by the Porto Museum.

 

With the aim of publicising the program among local communities, the Museu do Porto has been regularly holding Neighbour’s Day, since 2022, with initiatives around some of the museum’s spaces, open to everyone’s participation and free of charge.

 

The next session will happen on February 4th, Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in the Romantic Museum. Among the predicted activities it is included a visit to the Soares dos Reis National Museum, scheduled for 2 p.m.

Domingos Sequeira, Augusto Roquemont, Francisca Almeida Furtado, Francisco José Resende and João António Correia will be some of the highlighted artists during this visit, in which themes represented in romanticism will be addressed.

 

There follows a pedestrian route around the romantic figure of Carlos Alberto de Savoia-Carignano, Italian king, that arrived in Porto on April 19th, 1849, choosing this City to live during his exile.

 

The route will be done between his 2nd residence on a building next to the Palácio dos Carrancas (now Soares dos Reis National Museum) and the house on Quinta da Macieirinha (Romantic Museum) that hosted him until his death, on July 27th, 1849. In this house now museum, will be highlighted elements of the king’s presence.

Teresa Gonçalves Lobo and Domingos Sequeira Exhibition Catalogue

30 de January, 2024

The launch of the exhibition catalogue Teresa Gonçalves Lobo and Domingos Sequeira – a dialogue in time will take place next Saturday, February 3rd, at 4pm, at the Soares dos Reis National Museum, with the presence of Teresa Gonçalves Lobo and the Exhibition Commissioner, Bernardo Pinto de Almeida.

 

Inaugurated on January 25th, the exhibition brings together Teresa Gonçalves Lobo’ new drawings with artworks by Domingos Sequeira, the great Portuguese artist of the transition from the 18th to the 19th century.

 

In the dialogue that underpins this exhibition, we can see how a similar approach to drawing and the way of scratching occurs in the works of these two artists, despite the long distance in time that separates them, but whose purpose of giving birth to the way of using lines brings them closer together.

Teresa Gonçalves Lobo was born in 1968 in Funchal. She lives and works in Lisbon and Funchal. She studied drawing, painting, engraving and photography at the Ar.Co Centro de Comunicação Visual and at Cenjor, respectively.

 

Teresa Gonçalves Lobo, whose work began almost two decades ago, from the beginning focussed on drawing, an expressive field in which she has developed remarkable research. Having exhibited in various spaces in Portugal and internationally, she is currently represented in England by the prestigious London gallery WATERHOUSE &DODD, where she has exhibited both individually and collectively.

 

Her work has received significant critical attention and has been subject of monographic essays by various Portuguese critics and curators such as Nuno Faria, João Pinharanda and Bernardo Pinto de Almeida.

 

Teresa Gonçalves Lobo is represented in several collections, both private and institutional, in Portugal and abroad.

International Museum Day 2024 | Museums, Education and Research

30 de January, 2024

This year, the International Museum Day celebration will have the aggregated theme of «Museums, Education and Research», with the aim of emphasising the fundamental role of cultural institutions in providing a holistic educational experience.

 

Museums are dynamic education centres that foster curiosity, creativity and critical thinking.

 

In 2024, International Council of Museums (ICOM) recognises their contribution to research, providing a platform for the exploration and dissemination of new ideas. From art and history to science and technology, museums are vital spaces where education and research converge to shape our understanding of the world.

Every year since 2020, the International Museum Day has supported a set of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In 2024, the activities to be promote will focus on Goal 4: Quality Education – Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all; and Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure – Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.

 

Celebrated annually on May 18th, International Museum Day was created in 1977 by ICOM, with the aim of promoting reflection, among society, on the role of museums in its development.

 

More and more museums around the world are taking part in this global celebration. Last year, 37 000 museums in 158 countries and territories joined the event.

Director of the short film ‘Azul no Azul’ at Berlinale Talents

29 de January, 2024

Gianmarco Donaggio, director of the short film ‘Azul no Azul’ (Blue in Blue), was selected for the talent development program at the Berlin International Film Festival – Berlinale Talents.

 

Aimed at directors, actors, producers, screenwriters, designers, festival representatives, music composers, distribution and sales agents, sound professionals, film critics, etc., Berlinale Talents covers a range of skills related to the world of cinema and beyond (creators of series and Augmented Reality content, for example), such as talks, workshops and think-tanks.

 

In total, this year’s edition had 3.832 candidates (a record number) from 131 countries, with 202 people selected, including Portugal’s Rafael Morais, Cátia Rodrigues and Bruno Gularte Barreto.

‘Azul no Azul’ is an experimental short film created by Italian filmmaker Gianmarco Donaggio and Portuguese painter Nelson Ferreira.

 

The film was produced and distributed in collaboration with the National Museum of Contemporary Art, and a second version was created for the Soares dos Reis National Museum as part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the sculpture O Desterrado (The Exiled) by António Soares dos Reis.

 

The ‘Azul no Azul’ exhibition was on display at the Soares dos Reis National Museum from December 2022 to March 2023. The exhibition brings together watercolour by artist Nelson Ferreira and the film by Italian filmmaker Gianmarco Donaggio, allowing young artists to demonstrate how classical masters influence the creation of contemporary artists with their timeless works.

 

It’s worth noting that the Berlin International Film Festival takes place between February 15th and 25th, while Berlinale Talents will occur between February 17th and 22nd.

70th Anniversary of the portrait of the writer Maria Oswald, by Irene Vilar

29 de January, 2024

Dated 1954, the bronze sculpture of the writer Maria de Castro Henriques Oswald (in the picture) was authored by Irene Vilar and belongs to the collection of the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

 

The sculpture, which is now 70 years old, reflects the connection that is often established between sculptors and intellectuals, an aspect that is notorious in the Soares dos Reis National Museum’s sculpture collection.

 

Such relationship had special significance in Irene Vilar’s work, as is clear from her portraits of poets, including Fernando Pessoa, Florbela Espanca and Cesário Verde.

 

This portrait of Maria Oswald belongs to an early phase in which Irene Vilar completed the Sculpture course at the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, where she was a student of the master Barata Feyo and Dórdio Gomes.

In addition to being a writer, Maria Henrique Oswald was also a translator and an active collaborator to various publications of the time, such as Mocidade Portuguesa Feminina. It was a monthly bulletin, the organ of the Mocidade Portuguesa Feminina, founded by the New State (Estado Novo), and published monthly between 1939 and 1947, with the aim of affiliating the nationalist and Christian ideology to the “mentality of Portuguese girls”, as well as creating a “new woman”, emphasising the Christian sense in her life, namely in the household, family and society.

 

This publication featured several notable collaborations, including the names of Maria Guardiola, Maria Henriques Oswald, António Correia de Oliveira, Cottinelli Telmo, Diogo de Macedo, Fernanda de Castro and Domitila Carvalho.

 

Irene Vilar was born on December 11th 1930 in Matosinhos. Although she worked in different areas, it was sculptureing the field that Irene Vilar dedicated most of her life to.

 

She is the author of a varied, wide-ranging and rich body of work in the fields of sculpture, medal-making, numismatic, goldsmithing and painting, showcased in countless exhibitions (both solo and collective) and distinguished with several awards.

International Conservator-Restorer Day | 2024

27 de January, 2024

Today, 27 January, marks the International Conservator-Restorer Day, a professional who restores and conserves protected cultural assets, whether movable or integrated, preserving their historical and cultural value.

 

Cultural heritage influences the identity and daily life of peoples, encompassing both the tangible and intangible, natural, and digital aspects. It surrounds them in villages, towns, and cities, in natural landscapes, monuments, museums, palaces, and archaeological sites…

 

It is present not only in literature, art and the objects on display in museums, but also in the techniques learned from ancestors, traditional crafts, music, theatre, the ambiance and spirit of places, gastronomy and cinema.

The celebration of International Conservator-Restorer Day is, therefore, an opportunity to sensitise the population, especially the younger generations, to the valuable outcomes that conservation and restoration can bring to cultural heritage and society.

 

The respect for history and the values present in the interventions stand out, as well as the artists and crafts, which guarantee the integrity of the European material testimony and the authenticity of cultural heritage, that are crucial for the process of individual and collective identification.

 

The conserver-restorer is a highly qualified professional who studies interdisciplinary subjects, from chemistry to biology, through art history, archaeology and museology. This professional is responsible for tasks of high complexity and responsibility and often works in multidisciplinary networks.

 

At the Soares dos Reis National Museum, continuous work is carried out in the areas of conservation and restauration, within the context of managing and monitoring the different collections.

 

The team of conservators and restorers also takes part in research projects with the aim of contributing to new studies on conservation and restoration techniques and procedures.

151st Anniversary of the Death of Amélia of Leuchtenberg

26 de January, 2024

Amélia Augusta Eugênia Napoleona was the second wife of D. Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil (Pedro IV, King of Portugal). She was Empress Consort of the Empire of Brazil from 1829 to 1831.

 

Born on the 31st of July 1812 in Milan and died on the 26th January 1873 in Lisbon. Daughter of Prince Eugénio, Duke of Leuchtenberg, and his wife, Princess Augusta of Bavaria.

 

She is represented in the Soares dos Reis National Museum, in the oil on canvas by Friedrich Durck, a German portrait painter.

 

The Empress is portrayed half-length, wearing a black velvet dress (she had recently been widowed and would mourn for the rest of her life), with stoat decorations on the sleeves. She wears a pearl necklace and a dainty pearl tiara. Her hair is divided into three parts, with a bun on top of her head (secured in place with a conical pin, also made of pearls) and loose curls on the side. She is sitting on a chair from which a section of the carved, gilded backrest is visible. The backdrop features a red drapery and, to the left, a column with its respective base. In the background a small stretch of a sea or river can be seen.

 

In 1838, D. Amélia travelled to Bavaria, where she presumably had her portrait painted alongside her daughter D. Maria Amélia by the painter Joseph Karl Stieler (Mainz 1781- Munich 1858).

Apparently, from this portrait, several others were made in which the Empress is depicted in exactly the same pose, with the same garments and accessories and with the same elements as scenery, but alone, that is, without the figure of her daughter, D. Maria Amélia.

 

These portraits are distributed among various collections in Europe and Brazil (Paço Ducal de Vila Viçosa, Museu Militar de Lisboa, Fundação Maria Luisa e Oscar Americano, São Paulo, Museu Imperial de Petropolis, Royal Palace of Stockholm, as well as others in private collections in Brazil and Germany).

 

Tose versions however have been attributed to Friedrich Dürk, disciple and nephew of Stieler, who allegedly prepared a portrait of D. Amélia for an engraving edition, in which his name appears as the author of the original painting. However, the source of all these portraits, even the one executed by Stieler, may in fact be a triple portrait, depicting D. Pedro IV, D. Maria III and D. Amélia (now in the Cultural Center of Casa Pia de Lisboa), dated 183 and signed by Maurício do Carmo Sendim (1786-1870).

 

In that portrait, D. Amélia is depicted with her face in the same position and wearing exactly the same hairstyle and jewellery. The twist of the torso and the colour of the dress differ (which, incidentally, is of the same cut as the dress depicted in the portraits attributed to Stieler and Dürck).

 

The portrait of D. Amélia in the collection of the Soares dos Reis National Museum differs from all the others in that the Empress is depicted wearing a blue, green and white fabric sash, crossed over her torso.

Museum hosts Wine & Travel Week

26 de January, 2024

From 18 to 25 February, the city of Porto hosts the second edition of Wine &Travel Week. The professional meetings take place at the Soares dos Reis National Museum on February 19th and 20th, bringing together those responsible for Enotourism projects, agents and operators, tourist entertainment companies, specialists, associations, and other professionals in the field.

 

The Wine & Travel Week aims to positions itself as a global event dedicated to luxury Enotourism, to promote projects and brands.

 

The galleries of the Soares dos Reis National Museum, a leading cultural and artistic institution with an international collection, will be “the inspiring setting for conducting good business”.

Wine & Travel Week, a gathering that brings together professionals from all over the world, counts in this second edition with a delegation of over 100 buyers and specialized journalists in enotourism, joined by members from the capitals of the world’s major wine regions, the Great Wine Capitals (GWC). South Africa, Spain, France, India, England, Israel, Japan, Nigeria, and Portugal are some of the countries represented.

 

Among the event’s many parallel activities, the lunch on February 20th stands out, crafted by chef Rui Paula (holder of two Michelin stars at the Casa de Chá – Paço da Boa Nova restaurant), to be served at the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

 

It’s important to emphasise that, for the first time, Wine &Travel Week will have a guest region: Castile and León (Spain), which will take advantage of its presence at the initiative to stage the world premiere of the show “Merina: the Spanish gold. Oteiza”. The stage will be the Coliseum of Porto, in the late afternoon of February 20th.

 

Wine & Travel Week is an organisation of Essência Company.

Remembrance of the fateful shipwreck of the steamer Saint-Andre

24 de January, 2024

With the theme «Balance of a Century», the 1900 Universal Paris Exhibition that took place between April and November 1900. Portugal was one of the 40 countries present, with two pavilions, both designed by the architect Ventura Terra.

 

On the 24th January 1901, one of the four ships – hired to transport the national artworks back to Portugal – sank, losing almost all the pieces.

 

The difficulties of navigability accompanied the entire journey, since Le Havre harbour, but it was alongside the Portuguese coast that, facing greater dangers, the Saint-Andre was abandoned by its crew.

 

From Lisbon, to attempt rescue, the trawler Berrio was sent, but to no avail. Left adrift, the steamer was dragged and sank somewhere in the south of Portugal, within sight of Sagres.

Part of the hull, a barrel of mineral oil and an oar were all that was found. Paintings by Malhoa; Columbano; Carlos Reis; Alfredo Keil; Alberto Pinto; Sousa Pinto; Veloso Salgado; Carneiro Júnior, among others, were lost.

 

Sculptures, ceramics and tiles of great quality and beauty, namely form Real Fábrica Vista Alegre, Fábrica das Devesas (Vila Nova de Gaia); Cerâmica do Carvalhinho (Porto), Faianças das Caldas da Rainha, Fábrica de Louça de Avelino António Soares Belo and also old tiles belonging to private collections.

 

As a whole, these treasures were part of the proud Portuguese representation and some were even distinguished by the Parisian jury, seeing their artistic value recognised with the award of medals.

 

Only the few that went to Portugal by other routes– train and three more vessels – or deviated from their destructive route – such as José Malhoas’s painting “As padeiras” – were saved, because they were headed to other exhibitions, in Russia and Germany.

 

The shipwreck also led to the loss of another precious cargo on board the Saint-Andre, that was lost forever: Eça de Queirós’s personal documents and the furniture from the house in where he died in Neuilly-sur-Seine, on the outskirts of Paris, on the 16th of August 1900. His widow had asked for them to be transported on the ship that the government had chartered for the return of some of the works exhibited in Paris.

 

The 1900 Universal Paris Exhibition welcomed around 51 million visitors, occupying an area of 216 hectares spread throughout the centre of Paris, along the river banks of the Seine, and Bois de Vincennes, leaving iconic structures that still stand today: the Alexandre III Bridge, the Grand and Petit Palais, the Gare d’Orsay (now a museum) and the Paris Metro, whose first line was inaugurated for the Exposition.

 

Sources: Blog O Sal da História and Tribunal de Contas

Photographic credits: Lucien Baylac (1851-1913) – Image available on the Photos, Prints and Drawings Division on the Library of Congress of the United States of America

500 Years of the Birth of the poet and playwright Luís de Camões

23 de January, 2024

Even though it isn’t consensual, due to the lack of documentary sources to prove it, Luís de Camões is thought to have been born on January 23rd, 1524.

 

Considered one of the most important figures of the Portuguese literature, Camões is the author of Os Lusíadas, being acclaimed as one of the main voices of the world epic literature.

 

It’s estimated that Camões’ birth had occurred somewhere in the first half of the 16th century, in the year of 1524, with his death transpiring on June 10th, 1580, date in which is celebrated the national holiday, Day of Portugal, Camões and the Portuguese communities.

There are more uncertainties than certainties about his life’s journey, but it is believed that he had Lisbon as the main city of his life, as well as the presence of Coimbra, in which he learnt Latin, and what had been lived and written in the centuries before his life.

 

He was a court member, in the position of lyrical poet, although he took on an incautious life, that led him to a self-exile in Africa. It was there, as a Portuguese military officer, that Camões lost his right eye, ending up returning to Portugal. However, he would travel again, this time to the East, where he wrote Os Lusíadas, a masterpiece that he almost lost in the high seas.

 

Camões, whose bust is part of the long-term exhibition, dedicated Os Lusíadas to to King D. Sebastião, who would secure him a pension for his previous presence in the crown, even though he died in a depleted way, before the disappearance of the monarch in in the battle of Alcácer-Quibir. His poetry would endure in “Rimas”, as well as some plays, which would foster a prestigious legacy, not only in Portugal, but also in other countries, inspiring a series of literary currents and romantic authors.

 

Apart from Os Lusíadas, Camões wrote three comic plays, as he frequently complained, that his oeuvre was never truly appreciated for those who he wrote them for: the Portuguese.

 

The true recognition would only arrive after his death, having 55 years old at the time. His mortal remains can be found buried in the Jerónimos’ Monestry.

Launch of the catalogue for the exhibition “Fernando Távora. Pensamento Livre”

22 de January, 2024

The launch of the catalogue for the exhibition “Fernando Távora. Pensamento Livre (Free Thought)”, part of the celebrations for the centenary of the birth of the Portuguese architect (1923-2005) – Távora 100, takes place on January 25th, at 6:30 p.m., in the Fernando Távora Auditorium. It is presented by curator and coordinator, Alexandre Alves Costa, who is joined by Álvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura.

 

This edition counts with an interpretative note of new generation critics about each one of the seven exposed artworks: Pedro Levi Bismarck; Pedro Baía; Carlos Machado e Moura; Eliana Santos; Bruno Gil; Beatriz Serrazina; and Joana Restivo, respectively.

The Soares dos Reis National Museum, housed in an 18th-century building known as Carrancas Palace, was the object of a thorough renovation and expansion, according to a project by architect Fernando Távora.

 

Fernando Távora started the remodeling projects and works in 1988, divided into seven phases and each covering different wings of the Museum: the permanent exhibition galleries, the management building, the educational service, the cafeteria, the Noble Floor, the reserves, the extension for temporary exhibitions, the auditorium and the Rainha Dona Amélia Garden.

“Fernando Távora. Pensamento Livre (Free Thought)” is an initiative from the Marques da Silva Foundation and the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto. Curated by Alexandre Alves Costa (coordinator), Ana Alves Costa, Jorge Figueira, José António Bandeirinha, Luís Martinho Urbano, Maria Manuel Oliveira, the exhibition proposes a journey through the life and works by the Architect Fernando Távora.

 

The exhibition is the central activity of the Távora 100. This celebration program for the Centenary of Fernando Távora is part of a common proposition by the Order of the Architects, the Marques da Silva Foundation and the three School of Architecture where his innovative vision was felt and, even, (re)foundational, the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Porto, the Department of Architecture of the University of Coimbra and the School of Architecture, Art and Design of the University of Minho.

 

The program Távora 100 counts with the institutional support of Soares dos Reis National Museum.

 

Settled in a 18th century building, called Palácio dos Carrancas, the Soares dos Reis National Museum was the object of a deep remodulation and amplification, according to the project of the architect Fernando Távora.

 

Fernando Távora begins his projects and works of remodulation in 1988, divided into seven phases and contemplating each one of the different Museum’s wings: the permanent exhibitions rooms, the direction’s office, the educational services, the cafeteria, the Noble Floor, the stocks, the extension for temporary exhibitions and the auditorium, and the garden fence outside.