When some hear “tile”, they think bathroom. But Portugal gives a whole new meaning to this unique form of communication, and to the word itself. If you’ve been here, then you’ve seen them. Azulejos, as they’re called by the locals. They are everywhere, they never fail to impress, and have become a national trademark.
Jorge Colaço (1868-1942), a Moroccan azujelo painter born to Portuguese diplomats, has become somewhat of a national treasure. You can see his work all over the country and the world. His style is still mimicked endlessly today.
150 years since his birth, the Lisbon Museum – Pimenta Palace highlights some of the most unknown works by the artist for the city: the ceramic panels of the disappeared Cais do Sodré Fruit Market. The exhibition also portrays the diversity and versatility of the author’s work, through caricature, drawing and oil painting.
“Why did I dedicate myself to painting tiles? …once in Portugal I could not fail to awaken, in the first instance, the most ardent traditions of an art that, although imported, was able to gain a foothold in national art. ”