History of Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso

Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso Ferreira was born on 14th of November 1887 in Manhufe, Mancelos, Amarante. Son of José Emygdio de Souza-Cardoso, rural landowner and Emília Cândida Ferreira Cardoso. His maternal uncle, Francisco José Ferreira Lopes Cardoso, affectionately nicknamed "Uncle Chico", supports him on his artistic vocation since he was young.

            In 1905, Amadeo leaves to Lisbon with the intention of follow the course of architecture at the Academia de Belas-Artes. It is at the Capital city that he develops the activity of designer and above all the caricaturist skill, immediately supported and enjoyed by his friend Manuel Laranjeira.

            During June and July of the following year successfully completes three subjects of design drawing: Geometric linear design - 11 values; Drawing by ornament pattern - 13 points; Figure drawing by stamping - 18 values.

            In the day that he becames 19 years old he leaves to Paris with Francisco Smith and they will live in the Boulevard de Montparnasse. Amadeo attends to workshops of preparation for the contest to the School of Fine Arts with the purpose of study architecture.

            On 6th  January 1907, holds up a dinner at the restaurant Daumesmil in the Quartier Latin, Amadeo draws the menu and it puts a caricature of those who would dinner. On 13th  January that drawing is published in Porto newspaper's "O Primeiro de Janeiro". Quits architecture to devote himself entirely to painting and reinstalls himself at number 33 Rua Denfert-Rochereau. In October accomplishes a trip to Britain accompanied by the Portuguese painter Eduardo Viana.

            In 1908 rents the studio nr. 21, in 14 Cité Falguière where brings together Portuguese artists - Manuel Bentes, Emmérico Nunes, Eduardo Viana, Domingos Rebelo, Francisco Smith among others.An excerpt from an interview with Domingos Rebelo to the newspaper “O Século”, 20 October 1970, lets glimpse some of the social gatherings that were made there.“ [...] the studio of Amadeo de Sousa Cardoso, at the 14 Cité Falguière, who was the one of us that lived with greater abundance, because he was son of a wealthy family from Amarante [...]became an assembly center. Me, Manuel Bentes, Ferraz, architect Collin and Emmérico Nunes went there every night.[...] ”.

            Later that year meets Lucia Pecetto with whom he would get married in Portugal in 1914.

            In 1909 switchs studio again, this time to nr. 27, Rue des Fleures. It is an important year, because he starts to attend to Academia Viti directed by the Spanish painter Angalada Camarasa and meets Amadeo Modigliani.

            Two years later moves again, this time to nr. 3 Rue du Colonel Lombes where exposes with Modigliani. He relates with the critic Walter Pach and with Archipenko, Brancusi, Picabia, Juan Gris, Diego Rivera, Sonia and Robert Delaunay artists.Exposes six artworks at XXVIII Salon des Indépendants in Paris.

            In 1912 Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso publishes album "XX Dessins" with a foreword by Jerome Doucet. Designs and illustrates the manuscript of "La Légende de Saint Julien L'Hospitalier" of Flambert. Exposes at the Salon des Indépendants XVIII (Paris) and at the Salon d'Automme (Paris). Meets Boccioni and Severini.

            In the following year participates with eight works in the exposure Armory Show in New York. This exposure was repeated in Chicago and Boston. Three of these works are purchased by the art critic Arthur Jerome Eddy. Amadeo collectively exposes at I October Berlin Salon, knows the German painter Otto Freundlich.

The concern for the welfare of his family is always evident in the letters that he sends to keep in contact. Example is this excerpt from the last letter that he sends from  Paris to Portugal:“ [...] I send you by this mail the Maurras' book. Please tell Granny that I often think in her and give her miss.

            Always give me news, on the certainty of being particularly cherished, and accept a good hug from the deep of my heart.

                                                                            Amadeo Paris, 28th April 1914.”




            Some of his artworks are reproduced in the book of Arthur Jerome Eddy “Cubist and Post-Impressionist”. On April 1914 sends three works for the London Salon, an exhibition which however does not take place due to the start of the First World War. In the summer of that year meets in Barcelona with the architect Antoni Gaudi, and visit his sculptor friend Sola. He was surprised by the outbreak of War while he was in Madrid. Due that returns to Manhufe splitting his time between maternal house and the house in Espinho (he was already married to Lucia).            

            In Manhufe, Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso works at Casa do Ribeiro, house belonging to his uncle Francisco. In 1915 the couple Robert and Sonia Delaunay arrives at Portugal and install themselves in Vila do Conde where Eduardo Viana is a frequent visitor.

            In 1916 Amadeo publishes a selection of “12 Reproductions” (Porto, Tipografia Santos). In Lisbon, the painter meets with José de Almada Negreiros and Grupo da Revista Orpheu, a magazine which intended to publish a third number of the magazine with reproduced works of Amadeo. It is in this year that the artist holds two exhibitions in Portugal.The first, in November, in Porto, more specifically in the Garden Passos Manuel, is entitled:“Abstraccionismo”. It is composed by 84 oil paintings and wax, 19 watercolors and 11 drawings; this exhibition is greeted with hostility by the public. In Lisbon, the same exhibition, it is accomplishes in the Liga Naval, has no title and is accompanied by a text / manifest wrote by Almada Negreiros.

            In 1917 the same Almada dedicates to him the book “K 4 the Blue Board”. Sonia and Robert Delaunay depart to Madrid but still maintain a fruitful correspondence with his Portuguese friends.

            In April is realized in a futuristic session at  Teatro da República, of which comes the idea of publishing the magazine “Portugal Futurista” which has been sized. It had three works of Amadeo.

            In 1918 a skin disease impedes Amadeo of painting. On 25th October dies suddenly in Espinho, a victim of "pneumonic" plague that ravaged Europe in the end of World War I.




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