Azulejo panel

Bela Silva / Fábrica Viúva Lamego1999

National Azulejo Museum

National Azulejo Museum
Lisbon, Portugal

This piece evokes the main characteristics of Bela Silva’s work, which are the importance of drawing and the reference to fantastic imaginary worlds, such as in childhood or in Bosch’s paintings. A universe marked by satire, humour and good temper, but strongly rooted in references to history of art and the decorative arts, namely the history of the azulejo. In this work we see a perception of sumptuousness underlined by a great chromatic vibration, which is especially marked in the contrast between the border and the central reserve depicting a table centre piece and two jugs. These elements are profusely decorated with ornaments that are heirs to Mannerism and the baroque and are punctuated by satirical details. The frame is filled with volutes, chairs, decorated shoes and monkeys with glasses, or women drawn on a tiny scale to interact with animals such as the crab, the toad or the lizard. Curiously, it was while she was far away from Portugal studying at the Art Institute of Chicago that in 1993, Bela Silva rediscovered the azulejo, influenced by a professor. In the meantime, she had already come into contact with ceramics at her sculpture course at the School of Fine Arts in Lisbon, from which she graduated in 1992, having deepened that experience by attending the Ceramics Course at Ar.Co. – Centro de Arte e Comunicação Visual.


  • Title: Azulejo panel
  • Creator: Bela Silva / Fábrica Viúva Lamego
  • Date Created: 1999
  • Physical Location: MNAz, Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 141.5 cm x 198 cm
  • Provenance: Artist’s donation, 2000
  • Medium: Polychrome faience

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