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University of Porto Famous Alumni

Henrique Pousão

Fotografia de Henrique Pousão / Photo of Henrique Pousão Henrique Pousão
1859-1884
Painter



Fotografia de um Busto de Henrique Pousão / Photo of a Bust of Henrique PousãoHenrique César de Araújo Pousão was born in Vila Viçosa on 1 January 1859. He was the son of Francisco Augusto Nunes de Pousão, a Bachelor of Law, and Maria Teresa Alves de Araújo, and grandson and great-grandson of painters. His paternal grandfather, Caetano Alves de Araújo, painted Instituição do Santíssimo Sacramento for the Chapel of Santíssimo Sacramento in Nossa Senhora da Conceição Church, Vila Viçosa, and his paternal great-grandfather, António Pousão, was the author of some paintings for the Convent of São Paulo da Serra de Ossa, in Redondo.

In 1863, his family settled in Elvas, where Henrique attended primary school. Shortly after moving in, his mother died of tuberculosis, and some time later his father married Maria da Conceição Veiga. In the following years, Pousão produced some drawings, namely the promising "Portrait of a Cousin", dated 1869.
In the early 1870s, he moved with his father to Barcelos, where he was inspired by locals, paintings and photographs, and dedicated himself to drawings signed and dated 1872.

António Ramalho, 1880Because of his passion for painting, his father set him up in Porto in a friend’s house, to seriously invest in art. Following the suggestion of his teacher, painter António José da Costa, he enrolled in October 1872 in the Porto Academy of Fine Arts, without giving up private lessons. There he was taught by Thadeo Maria de Almeida Furtado and João António Correia, and was a colleague of Sousa Pinto, Custódio Rocha and José de Brito. He completed his studies in 1880.
During the holidays, he visited his father who, being a judge, had been transferred to Olhão. Here, he drew seascapes. On his return to Porto, he applied for a scholarship to study abroad, together with António Ramalho. Both candidates were approved with merit. However, António Pousão did not leave straight away to Paris as the exams had not yet been approved by Lisbon officials. While he waited for the results, he worked at the Porto Art Centre and wrote for the magazine Ocidente.

Pintura Cecília, Henrique Pousão, 1882 / Cecília painting, Henrique Pousão, 1882He finally left for Paris in November 1881 on a state scholarship to study Landscape Painting, along with José Júlio Sousa Pinto, who had gone to study Historical Painting. Passing through Madrid, he had time to visit the Prado Museum.

After studying in Paris for three months at the National School of Fine Arts under the supervision of Adolphe Yvon and Alexandre Cabanel, he fell ill with acute bronchitis, which forced him to find medical treatment in Bourboule (Puy-de-Dome), in Marseille. He returned to Paris two months later, but then the doctors told him to move to Rome in December. On his way there, he visited Turin and Pisa.

In Rome, he joined the local Group of Artists and painted. One of the paintings dating from this period is Cecília, portraying a young girl praying next to a pillar in Santo António dos Portugueses Church, which he presented at the Paris Salon.

Pintura Casas brancas de Capri de Henrique Pousão, 1882 / White houses of Capri, painting of Henrique Pousão, 1882Following this semester in Rome, and again for health reasons, he moved to Anacapri, in the island of Capri, to spend the summer and autumn of 1882. During this time, he painted the attractive local Mediterranean landscapes, full of light, for e.g., White houses of Capri. He visited Pompeii and the Vesuvius, and settled in Naples.

He returned to Rome on 18 January 1883, where he prepared paintings to be sent to the Academy, and met the Spanish painter Pradilla and the work of Monelli, both representatives of the Mediterranean impressionism. Weaken by his frail lungs, he once again settled in Anacapri in September and October.

Pintura A casa das persianas azuis, Henrique Pousão, 1883 / The house of blue shutters, painting of Henrique Pousão, 1883The deterioration of his health forced him to return to Portugal. On his way back, he travelled through Sorrento, Castellamare, Naples, Rome, Genoa, Marseille and Barcelona, Valencia, Seville, Huelva, Ayamonte, Guadiana, Vila Real and Olhão. Here, he was met by his father, with whom he stayed for a short period of time, and then returned to Vila Viçosa, where he died prematurely on 20 March 1884, of a lung disease.

In 1888, by order of his father, the estate of Henrique Pousão was transferred to the Porto Academy of Fine Arts. Today, a substantial part of his work can be found in the Soares dos Reis National Museum.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2008)

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