João Soares Streets of Roses 1998

Written for the exhibition
Painting / Pintura 1975 / 1997 – Palácio Galveias, Lisbon, 1998

I got used to looking at Manuel Amado’s paintings in the same way I have always looked at Lisbon: first and foremost, an intense and magical light indelibly draws the attention of our senses; then, the welcoming shadows in which the city envelops the small, secret charms of its lives.    

There are simple, everyday things that help us bear anxieties and overcome obstacles.

I feel a similar kind of pleasure when, sitting in my private office, I look at the oil painting in which Manuel Amado has depicted a perfectly harmonious Rua da Rosa: a peaceful street, free of yesterday’s horse-drawn carts or today’s automobiles, in which the sun spreads itself on the roofs and bursts round the corners, a street that calls us again and again to its lap-like shades and to its doorposts, which invite us to meet all the people that have left it deserted! 
Some have written that Manuel Amado abandoned architecture in favour of painting. My opinion, on the contrary, is that he has brought architecture into his pictures, to build a city of timeless instants while noting those moments of serene passion we all wish could last forever.  

For all these reasons, the Lisbon City Council is proud to host at the Galveias Palace his new exhibition, whose success seems to me granted. 

We can always desire more beauty for Lisbon. Therein lies its magic…