Executed in 1940 and reworked in 1952, this work is double-sided.
Vieira da Silva left her hometown of Lisbon when she was twenty years old, and her upbringing in Portugal would remain an important anchor and influence throughout her career as an artist. When she and her husband were forced to flee Paris at the outbreak of World War II, they first stopped in Lisbon. She began her painting Lisbonne after leaving the city for Rio de Janeiro in late 1940, invoking a memory of her beloved city as the ravages of war moved across the continent and the futures of European capitals were thrown into peril. She kept the painting, returning to it in 1952 after she had returned to Paris. In this second campaign, she appears to have covered over portions of the cityscape with swaths of grey and dusty orange, perhaps referencing the transformations enacted upon the urban fabric of Europe during the war. The figure at the center of the composition – more prominent than her human figures usually appear – is herself composed of the city’s structures.
Jorge de Brito (sale: Tajan Paris, October 22, 2011, lot 34) Private Collection
São Paulo, Museu de Arte, Vieira da Silva Colecçõ esportuguesas, 1987, no. 3, illustrated pp. 18-19 Lisbon, Fundação Árpád Szenes – Vieira da Silva,A linha do espaço, 20th Anniversary of the Foundation, 2015, illustrated p. 42 Céret, Musée d’Art moderne,Vieira da Silva, l’espace en jeu, 2016, illustrated in color pp. 56-57 Paris, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Dialogue VII, 2016 Paris, Jeanne Bucher Jaeger; London, Waddington Custot and New York, Di Donna Galleries, Maria Helena Vieira da Silva, 2019-20, illustrated in color p. 34-35
R. Navarra, 'Notícia de umapintoraluso-brasileira' in Diário de Notícias, Rio de Janeiro, August 24, 1941, illustrated (first state) G. Blache, 'Cours officiel des tableaux modernes en ventes publiques' in ABC Décor, Paris, December 1966, illustrated D. Vallier, Vieira da Silva, Chemins d'approche, Paris, 1971, illustrated p. 77 N.A. Aguilar, 'Vieira da Silva no Brasil' in Colóquio artes, no. 27, 2nd series, Year 18, Lisbon, April 1976, illustrated p. 14 (mentioned p. 6) N.A. Aguilar, 'Figuration et spatialisation dans la peinture moderne brésilienne : le séjour de Vieira da Silva au Brésil (1940-1947)', Phd dissertation, Lyon, Université Jean Moulin, 1984 (mentioned pp. 163-164) G. Weelen and J.-F. Jaeger, Vieira da Silva: Catalogue Raisonné, Geneva, 1994, no. 293, illustrated p. 62