Porto, António Carvalho da Silva
António Carvalho da Silva Porto was born in Porto to November 11, 1850 and died in Lisbon on June 1, 1893. From 1865 he attended the Academia Portuense de Belas-Artes where amongst his teachers were Tadeu de Almeida Furtado and João António Correia. In 1873 he competed for the state scholarship for improvement abroad together with Artur Loureiro, who gave up in his favour. He left for France in the company of Marques de Oliveira and studied with Yvon and Cabanel in the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He had close contact with the painters of the Barbizon School, namely Charles and Karl Daubigny, in their field trips to the environs of Paris, where he registered a series of landscapes in direct contact with nature.
Between 1877 and 1878 he travelled to Italy where, among other places, he visited the cities of Florence, Venice, Naples and Capri. The works he accomplished there furnish us with an account of these places and their people. On his return to Portugal he was invited to substitute Tomás da Anunciação as Professor Regius of Landscape at the Lisbon Academy.
Silva Porto played an important role in introducing and diffusing the new aesthetics of naturalism in Portuguese artistic circles. He accompanied his Academy students into the field promoting the exercise of the painting by direct observation of nature, as he himself practiced. In Lisbon he was part of the celebrated Grupo do Leão, an informal association of artists and men of letters determined to disseminate and consolidate the new aesthetic. The activity of this group marked the whole decade of 1880, either through the output of the artists who composed it, or through the exhibitions that they promoted with the objective, among others, of giving younger artists the opportunity to present their works.
Silva Porto actively participated in these exhibitions, mainly in Lisbon where he lived. The themes that he chose for his landscapes were drawn from all over the country: favouring the rural environment which he registered in countless landscapes inhabited by people and animals going about their daily business.
He is one of the best represented painters in the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis, which allows an especially detailed presentation of his creative process.
03 April 2009