Portuguese folk dress.
Yesterday my professor told the most amazing story regarding the most famous painting by one of the most proeminent portuguese painters of the transition of the 19th to the 20th century, José Malhoa’s Fado. Here it is:
First of all, know this: back when this picture was painted, Fado was not a good thing. It was the type of music that was sang among the scum of Lisbon. Even Mouraria, a pretty touristic place nowadays, was so badly known for it was completely closed. Nobody who lived in Mouraria got out of Mouraria. It was literally a place of sailors, prostitutes and thieves. And those same sailors, prostitutes and theives were the ones who sang Fado. So you can see how fado was not something the bourgeois liked; in fact, the high society - even the middle class - despised fado.
Now Malhoa was from humble origins. He came from a poor family and had to work his way into the Academy (SBA, Lisbon). He’s the prime example of social rise through art - solely working in art.
One day, he had the idea of painting a picture about fado. He had a portuguese guitar - which we know from photographs - and had the idea while playing it. When he told his idea to a friend, a rather important, aristocratic friend, he said that, if he was going to paint a picture about fado, he needed a real fado singer to pose for him.
That is how Malhoa met Amílcar, the man in the picture. Amílcar, like every fado singer back then, lived in Mouraria and was a thief. The negociations of the price for the painting were quite complicated, as you might imagine. But Amílcar said he would only pose for Malhoa if the woman was Adelaide, known as Adelaide da Facada - or, roughly translated, Adelaide of the Stab Wound. And so Malhoa spent months visiting Mouraria, carrying his painting apparatus with him, and quickly became known by the peoples from Mouraria as the Dandy painter - because regular painters were the people who painted walls!
Three months later, the painting was finished. Fado is known for having won numerous gold medals and prizes across the world. It was presented in Buenos Aires under the name Bajo El Encanto, in France under the title Sur Le Charme and in England as The Native Song. It caused quite a controversy in Portugal, but being a prime work of Realism, it became acclamed.
So when the picture was finally exhibited, Malhoa decided to invite the models of his painting - Amílcar and Adelaide da Facada. But not just them. Instead, story goes - and although nobody is sure if this is true or not, please bear with me cause it’s hilarious - he invited the entirety of Mouraria.
Now picture it: a dandy oppening of an art exhibition, filled with high society and aristocratic figures, back in the first decade of the 20th century. And all of a sudden, a whole bunch of prostitutes, theives and what was considered to be the scum of the earth walks into the gallery to take a look at Amílcar and Adelaide da Facada painted by the Dandy Painter.
Now, why was Adelaide known as Adelaide of the Stab Wound: back in the late 19th century, early 20th century, police, who spent, as you can imagine, a lot of time in Mouraria, used to mark prostitutes with a huge stab wound across the face. Now take a look at the painting: notice how Adelaide is leaning her head, completely covering one side of her face.
My passion is learning new languages, so here are some good sites to help you learn the following languages! Please feel free to add on!
Hey also that picture up there is transparent, which is pretty fucking awesome.
- A LOT OF LANGUAGES
- ALSO A LOT OF LANGUAGES
- Chinese (Mandarin)
(this guy makes great videos too)
(the University of Iceland has an online language centre, too)
- (Brazilian) Portuguese
009. Bolas de Berlim / Portuguese Berliners
A bola de Berlim is a Portuguese pastry similar to the German berliner but instead of being filled with a cream made of red fruits, it is filled with creme de pasteleiro, a typical cream made with eggs, lemon, vanilla and butter. The pastry is sprinkled with white granulated sugar.
A few years ago, it was common to see people selling bolas de Berlim in Portuguese beaches throughout the country, especially in the South and Center of Portugal. Although such activity has been banned, people still buy bolas de Berlim at any coffee shop and take them to the beach. Mind you, eating a bola de Berlim white at the beach is considered a ritual!
Augusta Victoria of Portugal
Portuguese Actors | Filipe Duarte