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University of Porto Famous Alumni

António Teixeira Lopes

Retrato de António Teixeira Lopes / Portrait of António Teixeira Lopes António Teixeira Lopes
Sculptor and teacher

António Teixeira Lopes was born in Vila Nova de Gaia on 27 October 1866, in a modest house near the Ceramic Factory of Devesas. He was the son of José Joaquim Teixeira Lopes (1837-1918), ceramist and sculptor, and of Raquel Pereira Meireles Teixeira Lopes, both from the parish of São Mamede de Ribatua in the Douro Council of Alijó. He was baptised on 12 November 1866, in the Church of Santa Marinha, and his godfather was the industrialist António de Almeida Costa.

Retrato de Soares dos Reis / Portrait of Soares dos ReisHe began learning sculpture at his father’s sculpture workshop and took his first job at the Ceramic Factory of Devesas.

In 1881, during a visit with his father to the 1st Group Exhibition at the Porto Art Centre, in Palácio de Cristal, he discovered his vocation when he saw the sculpture Flor Agreste by Soares dos Reis.
In the following year, he joined the Porto Academy of Fine Arts, but still continued to work. At this school, he was a pupil of masters Marques de Oliveira and Soares dos Reis.

After finishing the course in 1884, with the final mark of 17 out of 20, he applied for a scholarship to move to Paris, in 1885, but strangely enough he lost the competition to Tomás Costa. Despite this setback, he eventually moved to Paris to study, along with his father and José de Brito. António received a special subsidy to study Sculpture, while José had a scholarship granted by the King to improve Painting.

In Paris, he studied with Paul Berthet and admired the works of Rodin, Merci, Falguière and Barrias at the Salon. He attended the School of Decorative Arts run by Gautier, but was disappointed with its type of education. He then sat the admission exams to Fine Arts, in which he came first. He enrolled in the Sculpture course and was a pupil of Matias Duval and Ivan. In 1886, he received the 1st prize in a competition of ronde-bosse and came to Portugal on holiday.

Statue The Youth of Cain, by Teixeira LopesHaving returned to the French capital, he participated in the Salon with the work entitled Retrato de criança, in 1887. In the following year, he repeated the experience with Ofélia e o botão de Rosa. In 1889, he won honourable mentions with the works Comungante and Caim, and also with A Viúva, for which he received a 3rd class bronze medal, at the 1890 Salon. Other exhibitions at the Salon soon followed: in 1891, with the work Criança napolitana; in 1892, the busts of the Countess dessa de Valenças and of Madame Michon; in 1893, he exhibited the bronze version of A Viúva, for which he received, in 1896 a gold medallion in Berlin.
Although his artistic influences were predominantly French, he was also influenced by the sculpture work of Donatello.

In 1891, he made his debut with a solo exhibition at Palácio da Bolsa, in Porto, where he would return in 1892 to show his work along with Veloso Salgado. In the following years, he continued to exhibit his sculptures in Lisbon also, for which he received many awards.
Rainha Santa Isabel, de Teixeira Lopes / Statue Rainha Santa Isabel, by Teixeira LopesIn 1893, the sculptor married Adelaide Fontes, a marriage that lasted only one day, after which he returned the bride to her family. Later, from 1903 on, he became happily involved with Aurora, his principal model.

The success he achieved with his works facilitated his contacts with the nobility, especially with King Carlos and his brother Afonso, and also with the Duchess of Palmela, the lady-in-waiting of Queen Amélia, who commissioned a sculpture of the Rainha Santa, in 1895, to be sent to the Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Nova in Coimbra.
In that same year, his brother José Teixeira Lopes (1872-1919) planned, at his request, a Casa-Atelier [House-Workshop] at Marquês Sá da Bandeira Street, in the centre of Vila Nova de Gaia, which was formally inaugurated on 27 June 1896, with the exhibition of the painted wooden statute entitled Rainha Santa.

In 1897, he received a very large order from Brazil: the production of three doors for the Nossa Senhora da Candelária Church, in Rio de Janeiro.

Estátua A Flora, de Teixeira Lopes / Statue A Flora, by Teixeira LopesBetween 1899 and 1904, he executed three works of exceptional quality and impact: the funeral monument of Oliveira Martins - A História - for the Prazeres Cemetery, in Lisbon; the tribute monument to the gardener and florist José Marques Loureiro, placed in the Cordoaria Garden, in Porto, consisting of an allegory, Flora, and a bust of the honouree; and the monument of Eça de Queiroz, for the Barão de Quintela Square, in Lisbon.
In 1900, he produced Santo Isidoro and Agricultura for the Paris Universal Exhibition. There, he also exhibited A Dor, A Historia and Raquel, and received a Grand Prix and the medal of Knight of the Legion of Honour.

His triumph in Paris strengthened his success and made him the natural successor of Soares dos Reis. So in 1901 he accepted a teaching position at the Porto Academy of Fine Arts, where he stayed until 1936 (the year of his retirement), although with occasional interruptions, for instance between 1916 and 1918.
His career, however, was affected by more than just success. The sculptor regretted losing the competition for the monument of Prince Henrique, for the square with the same name in Porto, which was won by his eternal rival Tomás Costa, and the rejection of his proposal for the image of Our Lady of Fátima in favour of the work of the image-maker José Ferreira de Tedim affected him too.

Fotografia da Fachada da Casa-Museu Teixeira Lopes / Photograph of the building of the Casa-Museu Teixeira LopesIn 1933, the Casa-Museu of Teixeira Lopes was donated to the City Council of Gaia, on the condition that the artist be allowed to live there until he died.

He died in São Mamede de Ribatua on 21 June 1942.
In his will, dated 1939, his principal heir was his nephew José Marcello Teixeira Lopes, son of his brother José and Joana Maria Emília Bégaut. Other heirs were his sisters (Adelaide, Emília and Maria Raquel), two other nephews (António Júlio and Manuel Ventura Teixeira Lopes), and his sister-in-law Emília Ernestina. He instituted 3 contos [former Portuguese currency] to the Porto Academy of Fine Arts, to reward the best sculpture student, and donated 1000$00 [former Portuguese currency] to the caretaker of his Douro properties, Joaquim Manuel de Castro, the servants of his house in Gaia and the poor of the Mafamude and São Mamede de Ribatua parishes.
(Universidade Digital / Gestão de Informação, 2008)

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