Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, The Artist

Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (21 March 1846 – 23 January 1905) was a Portuguese artist known for his illustration, caricatures, sculpture and ceramics designs, and is considered the first Portuguese comics creator.

He was a disciple of his father, the painter Manuel Maria Bordalo Pinheiro. His mother was D. Maria Augusta do Ó Carvalho Prostes and his brother the painterColumbano. He started publishing illustrations and caricatures in humoristic magazines such as A Berlinda and O Calcanhar de Aquiles, frequently demonstrating a sarcastic humour with a political or social message.

In 1875 he travelled to Brazil to work as an illustrator and cartoonist for the publication Mosquito (and later,another publication called O Besouro), which was also employing the Italian/Brazilian illustrator Angelo Agostini, until then the unrivaled cartooning authority of Brazil. Pinheiro eventually became editor of other humorous, politically critical magazines. His fame as a caricaturist led the Illustrated London News to become one of his collaborators.

In 1875, Bordalo Pinheiro created the cartoon character Zé Povinho (literal translation: Joe Little People), a Portuguese everyman, portrayed as a poor peasant. Zé Povinho became, and still is, as an iconic symbol, the most popular character in Portugal.

In Zé Povinho, as in his other works, Bordalo Pinheiro’s drawing style was innovative and influential, making extensive use of onomatopoeia, graphical signs (such as those to used represent movement), strong images (the manguito), and his unique style of mixing punctuation marks, such as brackets, with drawing.

In 1885, he founded a ceramics factory in Caldas da Rainha, where he created many of the pottery designs for which this city is known. The factory is still in business.

The Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/bordallopinheiro.official

The Museum in Lisbon – http://museubordalopinheiro.cm-lisboa.pt/

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