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José de Almada Negreiros

Biography

José de Almada Negreiros was born in São Tomé and Príncipe in 1893. His father was Portuguese and his mother SãoTomean. His mother died when he was three and he was sent to a boarding school near Lisbon. He started out as an artist and had his first individual exhibition when he was twenty. He published his first poems soon after, thereby becoming one of the vanguard of modernist artists and writers in Portugal. At this time, he also choreographed a ballet.

In 1917 he published Ultimatum Futurista, às gerações portuguezas do século XX, his futurist manifesto and published the first and only edition of Portugal Futurista, which contained his obscene (equine sex) novel Saltimbancos. After World War I, he lived in Paris where he worked as a ballet dancer. He returned to Lisbon two years later and then went to Madrid. In 1934 he returned to Portugal for good.

De Almada Negreiros was multi-talented and will be remembered above all for his art, but also for his drama, poetry, novels, manifestos, ballet choreography and for his artistic and political criticism of the Establishment. He said of his own work I draw, I write, I sculpt, I do stained glass, I dance, I do theatre, I do cinema, and, if my art doesn’t speak through any of these voices, what can we do then? Just pretend that I am already dead – and that I left behind these posthumous works. He is very little known in the English-speaking world and virtually none of his work has been translated into English. He died in 1970.

Other sites

José de Almada Negreiros
My blog post on his Lisbon exhibition
José de Almada Negreiros (about his art)
José de Almada Negreiros (about his art)
José de Almada Negreiros (about his art)
José de Almada Negreiros (selection of his art)
José de Almada Negreiros (selection of his art)
José de Almada Negreiros (in Portuguese)
José de Almada Negreiros (in Portuguese)
José de Almada Negreiros (in Portuguese)
José de Almada Negreiros (in Portuguese)
José de Almada Negreiros (in Portuguese)

Bibliography

1912 O Moinho (drama)
1914 23, 2º Andar (drama)
1914 Os Outros (drama)
1915 A Cena do Ódio (poetry)
1915 Manifesto Anti-Dantas e por extenso
1916 Litoral (poetry)
1916 Mima Fataxa Sinfonia Cosmopolita (novel)
1916 Saltimbancos (novel)
1917 A Engomadeira (novel)
1917 K4, O Quadrado Azul (novel)
1917 Ultimatum Futurista, às gerações portuguezas do século XX (manifesto)
1919 Histoire du Portugal par Coeur (prose poems)
1921 O Menino do Olhos de Gigante (poetry)
1921 A Invenção do Dia Claro (novel)
1921 A Invenção do Corpo (lecture)
1921 O Cágado (novel)
1924 Pierrot e Arlequim (drama)
1926 A Questão dos Painéis; a história de um acaso de uma importante descoberta e do seu autor (essay)
1926 A Questão dos Painéis (essay)
1932 Portugal, Direcção Única (lecture)
1936 Elogio da Ingenuidade ou as Desventuras da Esperteza Saloia (literature)
1938 Nome de Guerra [Nom de Guerre] (novel)
1942 Homenagem a Luca Signorelli (art)