|José Sousa Caldas
José Fernandes de Sousa Caldas was born in Vila Nova de Gaia on 18 May 1894. He was the son of the sacred art sculptor José Fernandes Caldas and godson of sculptor José Joaquim Teixeira Lopes.
He attended the Porto Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied under the guidance of masters António Teixeira Lopes, who influenced him greatly, José de Brito and Marques de Oliveira. In 1911, at the age of seventeen, he concluded the Sculptor course.
In 1922, he began to lecture at the Infante D. Henrique Industrial School, in Porto, and then moved to the Passos Manuel Industrial School, in Vila Nova de Gaia, where he would later become the Principal. Later on, he moved to the Faria de Guimarães Industrial School (nowadays Soares dos Reis Artistic Secondary School), where he was a teacher and director, where he remained until 1964.
His role in pedagogic training was an important one: he was the President of the Exams Jury at the "O Comércio do Porto" School and at the Soares dos Reis Arts and Trades School; at the Emídio Navarro Industrial School, at the Passos Manuel Industrial School, at the Baltazar do Couto Industrial School, in Águeda, and, finally, at the Velho Cabral School, in Ponta Delgada, he was a member of the exams jury for the master’s title in Joinery. He was also a member of the Inspection Board at the Nuno Álvares Industrial and Commercial School, and a member of the Committee responsible for the Reform of Technical Education.
His sculpture work received many awards and shows that he was constantly in search of beauty and perfection. He portrays important individualities in the field of culture, economy and religion. His work can be admired in many national public spaces, in museums, such as the Chiado Museum, in Lisbon, the Soares dos Reis National Museum, in Porto, the Abade de Baçal Museum, in Bragança, and the Ílhavo Museum. Among his numerous works, we highlight the marble and bronze portraits representing Dr. Couto Soares, the Baron of Nova Sintra, Maestro Hernâni Torres, Dr. Alfredo Magalhães, Dr. Sousa Júnior and Dr. Pinheiro Torres; the Monumento aos mortos da Grande Guerra (Memorial to the dead of the First World War), and the Homenagem ao Dr. Lourenço Peixinho (a memorial), in Aveiro; several portraits of Cardeal Cerejeira, in Lousada; Diogo Cassels, in Vila Nova de Gaia; Abade de Baçal, in Bragança; Dr. Rebelo Moniz, in Resende; Dr. Joaquim Borges, in Vila Nova de Tazem; Alfredo Coelho, in Lisboa; Papa Pio X, in the Seminary of the Porto Cathedral; Dr. João de Almeida, in the Misericórdia Hospital of Lamego; the statue of Dr. João das Regras found outside the back façade of the Court House of Porto, Ternura (Tenderness), in the Crystal Palace, the low-relief Ódio (Hatred) on the façade of the S. João Theatre, among others.
José Sousa Caldas was a dynamic sculpturor, and a communicative and sensitive man. He died in 1965.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2009)