The Flor Agreste (Wild Flower) sculpture and the 200 years of Vista Alegre

19 de January, 2024

In the year in which Fábrica de Porcelana Vista Alegre celebrates 200 years of existence, we recover the history of the Flor Agreste sculpture, designed by António Soares dos Reis, and that Vista Alegre reproduced in biscuit, beginning a series of reproductions of the same work that made it famous, acquiring an extraordinary diffusion.


Considered one of the most emblematic artworks of António Soares dos Reis, the Flor Agreste, in patinated clay, was made in 1878, when Soares dos Reis awaited the construction of his house-workshop in Rua Luís de Camões, in Vila Nova de Gaia.


The marble sculpture was introduced for the first time in 1881, in the 1st Exhibition-Bazaar of the Centro Artístico Portuense, having been acquired for 250,000 Réis, by Maria Francisca Archer de Carvalho, as it is said by her grandson José Archer de Carvalho, in the book “Na intimidade da Flor Agreste” (In the intimacy of the Wild Flower, 2009).

The sculpture stayed in the family’s possession for more than 50 years, having been sold to Soares dos Reis National Museum, in 1940, by Tomás Archer de Carvalho, father of José Archer de Carvalho.


Vasco Valente, Maria Francisca Archer de Carvalho’s grandson, was the artistic director of the Fábrica Vista Alegre when it was produced the biscuit version of Flor Agreste. Having been director of the Soares dos Reis National Museum, between 1932-1950, “he had great influence on the movement created for the Flor Agreste to go to that Museum”.


Notable historian of Portuguese glass and ceramics, Vasco Valente was also responsible for the creation of Vista Alegre’s ceramics museum and author of the medal award of length of service provided by the company’s staff.


About Vista Alegre

The Vista Alegre porcelain factory was founded in 1824, in Ílhavo, in the district of Aveiro. Throughout its journey, the brand was always intimately associated with the Portuguese history and cultural life and acquired a grand international notoriety. In 2001, the Vista Alegre Group (porcelain, earthenware, and stoneware) merged with the Atlantis Group (handmade crystal and glass and of high quality), originating one of the biggest tableware and giftware groups of Europe: the Vista Alegre Atlantis Group.

In 2009, the Vista Alegre Atlantis Group became part of the Visabeira Group’s brands portfolio.

Every year, the design of the Portuguese’s porcelain, crystal and glass brand catches the eye of the most prestigious awards of international design, in countries such as Germany, United States of America and Italy, thus counting with a considerable number of awards in the brand’s history.