Teixeira de Pascoaes e Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso – Memory and Future

What do we think about the future?

The word and concept “future” are on the agenda as an urgent topic with special needs that requires attitudes in the present.

Today we talk about the future, as the World is compelled to think more and more about the quality of life, the effects that technological progress will have on the social order, the change in human relationships and, in general, the questioning of our purpose of existence. But beyond the future, it becomes increasingly important to preserve memory: collective memory as a community and individual memory, which also plays a part in the essence of each person.

Memory and Future are two concepts that should not be dissociated.

Looking at our poets, writers, painters – those who work with the invisible – we can highlight two examples that we have been remembering consecutively on the Artists’ Route. Two singular and striking cases in Portuguese literature and painting, which could even be said to have an international impact. Two figures who worked on memory and the future in different ways, taking into account their personal journey, but also their family, cultural and landscape surroundings.

This November we celebrate the birthdays of the poet Teixeira de Pascoaes (02/11/1877-14/12/1952) and the painter Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso (14/11/1887 – 25/10/1918). Both shared the same hometown – Amarante, as well as other shortcuts better known to those who rode or walked between Manhufe and Gatão. Amadeo was more fond of horses, an element he frequently represented in his paintings, and Pascoaes was more fond of the contemplative rhythm of a good walk.

Pascoaes is the philosopher poet, author of Saudosismo and the always disconcerting metaphysical reflection. With him we discover in detail the charms and darkest corners of childhood, the indomitable desire of youth, the dissatisfaction of adult life and the transcendence of old age. As stated by Franco (2023) “(…) Everything in his long life and in his vast work seems to obey this genetic impulse of returning to a lost origin that could be the original childhood of all the first enchantments, the kingdom of all the primordial powers where for once one is prince of the world, like the timeless paradise of all forgotten glories, the garden of the delights of History that is ultimately always below or beyond it.”[1] A poet who constantly recalled the past, but he lived with a permanent desire to live the future, wandering between both throughout his life and his writing.

Amadeo is one of the great artists of Portuguese modernism. He was born in a rural environment, into an aristocratic family closely linked to traditions, customs and religion. From an early age he revealed himself to be rebellious and non-conformist, with “(…) a nature focused on immediate action (…)”, where “(…) the impulse towards conformity did not operate in him sufficiently for him to be subjected to the feelings of the collective and their customs.” (Bessa-Luís, 2008, p.16).

A multifaceted artist who explored several techniques, mixed them and did not give in to any specific one, however the movement or the sensation of it is something very characteristic in his work. A dynamism, a speed that fits the futurist aspect and the ideals of the Futurist Manifesto. In truth, Amadeo, in statements to the newspaper “O Dia”, acknowledged “(…) his “passion for movement, for speed, for the fever of modern life”(…).[2] But it is also true that the painter would constantly resort to his memory(ies) of the environments and sociocultural contexts of Amarante to introduce elements, figures, scenes that had existed for a long time, but ended up acquiring new forms, taking into account the artistic techniques used, and which reached a projection that is still under study today and that will probably only be understood in the future.

In the words of Almeida[3] “Amadeo is a paradigm of isolation, of the creator’s loneliness, but in a paroxysmal situation, because he is both interior and exterior. That can only be seen in identical adventures of isolation, such as those of Orpheu or the search for a mythical meaning of being Portuguese, equally solitary, of that metaphysical crusade led by his brilliant friend and neighbor from Amarante, Teixeira de Pascoaes.”

We leave you the invitation and why not accept the company of Stay to Talk on the various artistic and literary tours that we have prepared for you.

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Bessa-Luís. A. (2008). Dicionário Imperfeito. Seleção e Organização Manuel Vieira da Cruz e Luís Abel Ferreira. Lisboa. Guimarães Editores.

Sofia Mesquita

Instituto de Imersão Cultural – Stay to Talk