Portugal - All About Artists  

Almada Negreiros
José de Almada Negreiros was born in São Tomé e Princípe, Cape Verde Islands, in 1893 and died in 1970. This artist was a man of many talents and diverse artistic expressions. Painter, writer, dramatist, poet, ceramist, all of these fields bear his indelible mark. His passion for creativity was recognized by being elected in 1966 as an Honorary Member of the National Academy of Fine Arts. He was later further recognized by being awarded the "Grand Order of Santiago e Espada" in 1967. His creative work can be seen in many public places and in various mediums. He remains an artist who has left his mark on 20th Century Portugal.

Carlos Reis
Born in 1863 in Torres Novas, and died in 1940 in Coimbra. A painter of portraits and figurative subjects. He quickly achieved fame after studying in Lisbon and then after in Paris. He was awarded many prizes in his lifetime and achieved a position of influence in the world of art in Lisbon. He was the moving force behind the establishment of the National Society of Fine Arts, thus giving artists a dignified home in which to exhibit their latest works. He was also instrumental in the creation of the "Ar Livre" movement in Portugal. This was a school which thought that painting should be conducted in the open, using rural subjects.

Columbano Bordalo Pinheiro
Born in 1857 in Almada, and died in 1929, he represents the leader of the of the Naturalism school of art in Portugal. Born into and aristocratic and artistically inclined family, he and his ceramist brother became outstanding artists within their own lifetime. His productivity was immense and a large collection of his works is held by the Museum of Modern Art in Lisbon.

Jorge Vieira
Jorge Ricardo da Conceição Vieira was born in Estremoz in the Alentejo in 1934, and died in 1998. After studying in Lisbon he moved to London to attend the Slade School of Art on a course directed by the English sculptors, Reg Butler and Henry Moore. Although he extended himself in his personal interpretations, both these artists had a strong influence on his works. He was diverse in his medium and used metal, clay, bronze and stone. Not particularly know outside of Portugal his work is highly respected within its borders and many public monuments bear his name. In 1993 his workshop and home in Beja was converted into a permanent museum of his works.

José Malhoa
José Vital Branco Malhoa was born in 1855 in Caldas da Rainha and died in 1933. His background was humble and he had to fight hard to achieve recognition during his life. He was of a character that made few friends and it was his quality as a painter that carried him through his adversities. There is a museum in his town of birth and carries the artist’s name and maintains an excellent collection of his works.

Júlio Pomar
In 1926 Júlio Artur da Silva Pomar was born in Lisbon. He has been a leading painter in the esteem of the Portuguese critics since the 1940s. He was an active founder in 1956 of Gravura, a graphic workshop run for the benefit of the member artists. He has exhibited in major countries and won many awards. In 1963 he made his permanent home in Paris in order to be closer to the centre of progressive new developments in the world of art.

Josefa de Obidos
Josefa de Ayala y Cabera was born in Seville, Spain, in about 1630 and died in 1684. Her father being Portuguese brought her back to Portugal when very young. Having settled in the walled town of Obidos her father encouraged her to follow in his profession of painting. Her many works that remain are outstandingly feminine for their tonal values. Compared to other painters in Portugal of the same period her style is distinctive even when she depicts religious subjects typical of that time.

Mário Cesariny
Born in Lisbon in 1923 and died in Lisbon in 2006. His full name was Mário Cesariny de Vasconcelos. He was mainly known as a writer and a painter but his artisitc activities also covered poetry and an art critic. He, along with Alexander O’Neill and António Domingues, founded in 1947 the Lisbon Surrealist Group. His creative ability in art remained loyal to the interpretation of the Paris movement as brought back from Paris by the painters António da Costa and António Pedro. His extensive writing is said to have revealed influences of both Brecht and Pirandello. His paintings and drawings can be found in all the major collections in Portugal.

Paula Rego
Paula Figueiroa Rego was born in 1935 in Lisbon. On her decision to make her career in Art she departed in 1954 to attend the Slade School of Art in London. She married an Englishman and made her permanent home in that country. However, her roots have constantly brought her back to exhibit in Portugal where she is highly respected. Her name today is renowned in the art world and she has been placed amongst the four best living painters within England today. Exhibitions of her figurative style of painting are constantly being held in leading galleries.

Soares dos Reis
This important sculptor António Soares dos Reis was born in 1847 in Vila Nova da Gaia, just across the river from Porto. He committing suicide in 1889. Coming from a humble background his potential as a sculptor was happily recognized by a neighbour and art teacher who arranged for him to receive art lessons at the early age of 14. He quickly gained awards and moved to Paris in 1867 for three years study. Shortly after, he spent a period in Rome before returning to Porto in 1872. He was received immediately with a teaching position at the Porto Academy of Art at the age of only 25. Here he stayed until his death only 17 years later. His outstanding collection of work can be seen in the impressive museum in Porto that is named after the artist.

Souza-Cardoso
Amadeu de Souza-Cardoso was born in Manhufe in 1887 in the north of Portugal, and died at an early age in 1918. This artist was the main influence in introducing into Portugal modern schools of art that were already established in the rest of Europe at that time. In 1906 he moved to study in Paris and was influenced by the "Cubist Movement" having made contact with such artists as Modigliani, Picasso and Braque. Souza-Cardoso appears as one of the principal names on the poster advertising the 1913 "Amoury Art Show" in the U.S.A. Here at this Show he was exhibited in Boston, Chicago and New York, alongside his famous contemporaries from Paris. This was the first official introduction of what is commonly known as Modern Art in northern America. His remaining works are sadly too few in number and those that have survived are prized possessions of Portuguese collectors. They show his considerable talent that was tragically robbed from the art scene by his early death.

Vieira da Silva
Maria Helena Vieira da Silva was born in Lisbon in 1908. She commenced her studies in Lisbon. In 1928 she moved to Paris to frequent the Academy La Grande Chaumiére and also initially the studio of the sculptor Bourdelle. In 1929 she turned to painting and was to meet the famous painter Arpad Szénes whom she married in 1924. It was only in1933 that the artist held her first individual exhibition that was in Paris. To her lasting regret, due to the regulations by this act she forfeited her Portuguese nationality. This was only returned to her much later in life and caused her to live outside Portugal. Firstly in Paris, then Brazil before returning to Paris. Her talent and unique style in painting took her to the very top of the ladder in world acclaim. In 1956 she was given French citizenship but after the Portuguese Revolution of 1974 she returned to Portugal to receive a warm and official welcome. In 1990, two years before her death, she had the pleasure of attended the inaugural meeting of the "Szénes-Vieira da Silva Foundation". The building in Lisbon that houses the sizeable collection of both hers and her late husbands work was opened in 1993.


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