António Valdemar1986

Written for the exhibition
Comboios, Estações & Apeadeiros / Trains, Stations and Halts – Galeria de S. Mamede, Lisbon, 1986
[…] That unusual and mysterious atmosphere has appealed to Manuel Amado, the painter.

Railway stations did not interest him in terms of architectural quaintness; of the flower arrangements, in place for the attribution of a contest prize; or even of the revivalist tile panels designed by Jorge Colaço, Battistini and Alves de Sá, which delight the railway station employees and certain travellers. Instead, he chose to penetrate that sphere of anguish and hope in which life and death often meet at the same time, at the same moment of arrival or departure.  

For more than a century, the railways have been part of the lives of the Portuguese population. There are other means of transportation, probably quicker and more comfortable, but the train continues to complement or supplement the motorways and airways. 

Its efficiency increases with its use. The permutations it creates among societies, regions, the Country and the World generate ties of solidarity, and it also creates a continual interchange of situations between people from all classes and ages, symbolising the excitement and apprehension that imperturbably enclose the prosperities and ruins, joys and tragedies that are part of the chaos of life and our collective memory.  

[Excerpt from António Valdemar’s text, which is more concerned with the history of Portuguese railways than with Manuel Amado’s paintings]