Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro (Lisbon, 1846 -1905) was one of the most noteworthy and most adaptable Portuguese artists of the 19th century. His visionary legacy in several different artistic domains carries on even into the present day. He was a sketch artist, a watercolour painter, illustrator, decorator, caricaturist, journalist and potter. His name is closely associated with Portuguese caricature, which he boosted in terms of quality, bringing it to a status that had previously never been reached. He is the author of the figure “Zé Povinho” (Commonfolk Joe), which continues to stand as a symbol for the Portuguese people. The ceramic work of Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro began with the founding of the Fundação das Faianças Artísticas Bordallo Pinheiro (1884), in Caldas da Rainha (central Portugal). Drawing from the naturalist roots of pottery in Caldas da Rainha, Bordallo Pinheiro reimagined it and brought it up to date, producing hundreds of highly imaginative and technically sophisticated models, which are still on the national and international markets up through today.
“A Galinha Choca da Economia” (The broody hen of Economics) was the cover of the magazine “A Paródia” in 1900, where Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro expressed his discontent towards the political life of the country and decided to caricature the different aspects of Portugal’s social and economic reality at that time …. Or is it nowadays?
“O Grande Cão da Finança” (the Big Dog of Finance) was on the cover of the magazine “A Paródia “, in 1900, and it caricatures the finances wearing the collar of the deficit. “No matter how many cakes they gave it; the damn dog won’t die!”. It is the result of the despair that Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro begins to feel in the face of political manipulation and opportunism, raising the awareness of the society at the time. Never goes out of style.
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.
This is Raphael Bordallo Pinheiro, personified in a sardine. With his own style. Relaxed. Focused. A thinker. Creative. Always ready with a pencil. Always with his restless originality. Nothing escapes his eyes. The poor and the rich. Ceramics, journalism, cartoons. Traditions, society, politics... one single artist, full of well-known and hidden talents.