Amadeo de Souza Car­doso is now con­sid­ered a pi­o­neer of Mod­ernism in art, whereas soon af­ter his death he was al­most com­pletely for­got­ten, de­spite his gush­ing veg­e­ta­tion, lux­u­ri­ant de­pic­tion of na­ture and his paint­ings’ vi­brancy that leave a last­ing im­pact. He was an orig­i­nal and un­clas­si­fi­able artist, al­ways ex­per­i­ment­ing and try­ing out new trends and move­ments that he rein­vented in his own style. His dy­namic treat­ment of space and move­ment and his strong colours are the re­sult of ex­po­sure to mul­ti­ple art move­ments and to dif­fer­ent cul­tures.

Amadeo De Souza Car­doso (1887-1918) was born in Man­hufe in the Porto dis­trict in Por­tu­gal, to a wealthy, ru­ral fam­ily. At

De­cem­ber 2016 an early age he showed ta­lent for draw­ing, but his fa­ther con­vinced him to study ar­chi­tec­ture. In 1906, Amadeo went to Paris on a trip that changed his life. He soon gave up his stud­ies in ar­chi­tec­ture to take up art. Early on, he worked as a draughts­man and car­i­ca­tur­ist. He also be­came friends with artists liv­ing in Paris like Modigliani, Bran­cusi, Mark Ja­cob, So­nia and Robert De­lau­nay, among oth­ers.

By 1913, the Por­tuguese artist be­came known in the in­ter­na­tional art scene, and his work was shown at the fa­mous New York Ar­mory ex­hi­bi­tion, where he sold seven of the eight paint­ings he dis­played. He also par­tic­i­pated in ex­hibits in Berlin and Lon­don.

"Zine" around 1917

Car­doso plunged into the move­ments that were flour­ish­ing in the Paris of pre­world War I. The war even­tu­ally rav­aged Europe and chased its dy­namic artists to New York. He em­braced some of the new move­ments and his work, at dif­fer­ent stages, showed dif­fer­ent in­flu­ences. At the be­gin­ning, it had dis­tinc­tive Im­pres­sion­ist

"Rata" around 1914-1915

Un­known ti­tle (Por­trait of Paul Alexan­dre?) 1917

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