During a creative phase deeply marked by naturalism, Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro put forth a wide variety of ceramic items portraying fish and shellfish.
Also a lover of good food, he frequently got together with friends for gourmet dinners at the Leão de Ouro brasserie and the Grupo dos Macavencos, at Palácio Foz, in Lisbon, or when he was in Caldas da Rainha and visited Francisco Grandela at his home in Foz do Arelho, surrounded by a beautiful marine scenery.
Sardines, eels, crabs, edible crabs, bivalves, lobsters and a huge collection of other fish and shellfish “invaded” panniers, giant plates, baskets, pots and vases, decorated with nets and fishing floats, creating a richly sculptural and theatrical fishing setting, painted with incredibly accurate colours.
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Distinctive Characteristics: Hand Painted Complements
Type of Piece: Fishes
The sardine, with its silvery blue and black hues, darker on the back and lighter on the sides and belly, is found in the northeast Atlantic and the
Mediterranean Sea, where it dwells on coastal areas, between 25 and 100 meters deep.
It undertakes migrations in large shoals that protect fish
from predators during the day, in deeper waters, and move at night-time to shallower waters
to feed on algae and small crustaceans.
It reproduces from October to April, a time when sardines
are leaner and not so tasty.
The sardine is the most popular fish in summer festivals and fairs in Portugal, as well as the main species used in the
Portuguese canning industry.