Keil, an isolated and travelled spirit, expressed himself with melancholic sentimentalism which relates him to late romanticism. This scene, scarcely approached by Portuguese painters at the time, presents the open browns with a luminosity composed of dark tones that fall onto the sand and sea. A figure contemplates this scenery, representing the meditative mood of the artist like a reflected image. The play of light and shadow, understood in soft tones, expresses a sensation of a retreat to Vale de Colares, where the artist lived, connecting it to this sentimentalism which directs us towards a new manner of observing nature. Keil extracts his potential from the spirituality inherent to the interpretation of light and darkness, with a religious undertone, from the interiorised relation of isolation and cosmopolitanism. Nature as a sanctuary creates a symbolic refinement, a rare theme in Portuguese painting.


  • Title: Praia Grande
  • Creator: Alfredo Keil
  • Date Created: 1880
  • Physical Dimensions: 49.5 cm x 73 cm
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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