Born in Lisbon, he studied at the School of Fine Arts of this city between 1918 and 1927. In the following year, he set off for Paris where he studied
sculpture initially whereafter he devoted himself to painting, studying with Dufresne and Bissière, inter alia. In 1930 he married the Hungarian painter
Arpad Szènes. In the 1930's he carried out his first exhibitions and sold his first works which were already of an abstractionist nature. Between 1939 and
1947 he passed through Lisbon and then settled in Brazil where he lived with a circle of artists. In that year he returned to Paris. as from the late 1940's
his works began to enter the main institutional collections and the first studies about his work emerged.
In 1962 he was nominated the Commendator of the Order of Arts and in 1970 a member of the National Academy of Fine Arts and in 1977 he was
granted the Ordem de Santiago da Espada (Order of St.James of the Sword).
Besides painting, he carried out ceramic panels, stained-glass windows and literary illustrations. His work constituted a compulsory reference of the
abstractionist tendency, to wit for having contributed to that which José Augusto-França called the ambiguous space of post-war painting.