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Sculpteur

DA SILVA

Informations :

  • Prénom: João
  • Nationalité: Portuguaise
  • Activité: Sculpteur
  • Date et lieu de naissance et de décès: Né à Lisbonne en 1880 - Décédé à Lisbonne en 1960

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DA SILVA
Fiche créée ou mise à jour par : le 22 mai 2014

Description:

Sculpteur, graveur sur médaille.

João da Silva was born in Lisbon on 1 December 1880.

After attending the Industrial School Príncipe Real, in which he enrolled in 1893, he travelled to Paris where he studied at the School of Fine Arts. At this school, he received the first prizes in the subjects of Medals, Sculpture, Applied Art and Drawing, and in just two years he completed the Medal Course with the sculpture and medal maker Jules Chaplain (1839-1909). For his exam, he submitted a bronze plaque – “Les funérailles d’Atala” – executed in the workshops of the Mint of Paris.

After completing his artistic training, he worked as an engraver at the Fleuret House. In 1900, he submitted two pieces for the Universal Exhibition of Paris.

At the end of the following year, he moved to Geneva. In this city, he attended the Jeweller-Engraving course at the School of Fine Arts. To obtain a certificate, he produced a carved plate in silver – “A toilette de Diana” – which now belongs to the Museum of Fine Arts of Geneva.

When he returned to Portugal, he resumed his activity as a sculptor, goldsmith and medal maker, and between 1911 and 1914 he taught Applied Art, Jewellery and Drawing at the Marquês de Pombal School.

He participated and was awarded many prizes in numerous exhibitions in Portugal and abroad. He received a 3rd place medal in the 5th Exhibition of the National Society of Fine Arts in 1905, and a second class medal at a show in that same institution in 1917. He won the 1st prize ex-aequo with René Lalique (1860-1945) in the Exhibition of Rio de Janeiro (1908), an honourable mention at the Paris Salon in 1908 and an honourable mention and gold medal at the Lisbon Salon in 1911.

Among his vast sculpture works, some are quite noteworthy : the Bust of the Republic, carved for the Constituent Assembly and inaugurated in the Parliament in 1911 (later, this bust disappeared), several monuments to the dead of the First World War (Évora – 1933 and Valença do Minho – 1951, for example), and the monument in memory of the children who died in the 1914-1918 war, produced one year after it ended and intended for the French municipality of Pouliguen. João da Silva also produced the monuments in honour of Augusto Gil (1935) for the city of Guarda, and of the Baron of Rio Branco, for Rio de Janeiro, the “Fons Vitae” for the Luso Thermal Waters and the “Fonte da Juventude” for the Portuguese Pavilion in the Seville Exhibition in 1929. He was also the author of the silver epitaph dedicated to General Don José Henrique Varela Iglésias, in the cemetery of Toledo, the silver quill and inkstand offered to Afonso Costa, the “Floreira duas Pátrias” offered to the Brazilian President, Hermes da Fonseca, when he visited Portugal in 1912, and the sculpture representing the winner of the prize “A mais bela mulher de França” [The most beautiful woman in France], established by the French newspaper “Le Monde“.

For the city of Porto he produced two emblematic works : the monument to Júlio Dinis, commissioned by the Faculty of Medicine in 1923 and inaugurated in 1926 (through public subscription), and the monument in memory of the students of the University of Porto who died in the 1914-1918 war, composed by a female figure covered with a veil and holding a palm leaf, is known as “The Saint” or “The Wisdom“. Its inauguration took place on 16 October 1948 in the entrance hall of the building which houses the University of Porto, in Gomes Teixeira Square, dated 16 October 1948.

As a medal maker, João da Silva produced memorable works, such as the first gold coin of the Republic, in 1916, and the medal for the commemoration of the 1st centenary of the birth of Silva Porto, in 1950, commissioned by the Guild of Industrial Jewellers of the North of Portugal.

João da Silva was elected member of the National Academy of Fine Arts in 1933 and was distinguished with the “Soares dos Reis” Award by the National Secretariat of Information (SNI) in 1949, which he declined.

In 1952, he donated to the National Society of Fine Arts his house-workshop (now House-Museum Master João da Silva) built in 1938 by Ligier/Peige, following his guidelines.

He died in 1960 and was buried in Prazeres Cemetery, in Lisbon.

Sources et liens externes

Sources : Dictionnaire Bénézit, dictionnaire Lamy, Les bronzes du XIXe siècle, dictionnaire des sculpteurs (Kjellbert Pierre, les Éditions de l’amateur, Paris, 1996), L’univers des bronzes (Devaux Yves, Éditions Pygmalion, Paris, 1978), L’âge de la fonte (Renard Jean-Claude, Les éditions de l’amateur, Paris, 1985), Wikipédia. - http://sigarra.up.pt/up_uk/web_base.gera_pagina?p_pagina=1006602
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