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Fishing at Sea, detail

COLAÇO, Jorge (1868-1942)


Tile panel


The Cais do Sodré Fruit Market was demolished in 2002 to make way for the intermodal station of the same name. In this panel, which was designed for the market, Jorge Colaço (1868–1942) created imagery that chimed with the purpose of the building. It features everyday fishing scenes that hint at the harmony found within fishing communities. A fisherman mends his nets; a woman in the background breastfeeds her child; a pair of young lovers flirt; men make their way home from a hard day of work; women dance on the beach. There is even a procession along the beach, emphasising the alignment of the natural world and the local culture.

In devising this panel, Colaço drew upon a series of earlier drawings depicting the traditional xávega method of dragnet fishing, which was practised along the Atlantic coast between the Cabo Espichel and the mouth of the River Douro. Two drawings that are currently preserved at the National Tile Museum (MNAz 542 Proj; MNAz 550 Proj) might be considered as studies for the final composition created for Cais do Sodré Market.

The panels, which were made at the Fábrica de Cerâmica Lusitânia in 1928, coincided with a time when Colaço acceded to a level of greater artistic maturity in his career.

5 Pesca no mar, pormenor Museu de Lisboa.jpg

© Museu de Lisboa