RETRATO DO DOURO – PORTRAIT OF THE DOURO
Price: 90 euros
Watercolours and drawings by John O’Connor complemented by texts from Portuguese authors selected by Maria do Carmo Paço d’Arcos. Bilingual edition (Portuguese/English).
Art book 24 x 30 cms, 170 pages, hard cover with illustrated dust-jacket, printed on Stockwell Special paper 160 grs. Publisher: Livro d’Ouro. Limited numbered edition of 600 copies. Year of edition: 2001.
This book is composed of a selection of watercolours and drawings made in the Douro in the last two years. They are accompanied by excerpts from the works of Portuguese authors – Miguel Torga, Teixeira de Pascoais, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, Aquilino Ribeiro, Raul Brandão, amongst others – associated with the region. It should be noted that the images are not illustrations of the texts nor the texts explanations of the images. They are of course all linked by a common theme – the Douro, but with few exceptions they work independently in a complementary relationship. They act together, to use a musical analogy, as the two instruments in a double sonata, creating their own harmonies and dissonances, their movements governed by the river itself.
Join the land of wine, young gods!
Join, for the must gives rise To gods’ and peoples’ smiles
When truth glares upon their faces.
Olympus was wherever sea and mountains dwelled.
Where the flower of grief scented the air.
Where cupped hands took freshness
From springs that tasted like fire.
Join, beloved lords of youth!
For here you find virtue’s laurel,
The olive tree of peace and the wild lilly…
And oaks, and aged chestnut trees,
Beneath whose shade a heavenly sleep
Can turn your dreams to living truth.
What is this intimacy between myself and dawn?
What bond attaches darkness to bright light
Teixeira de Pascoae
The Douro is a hothouse. And inside it the vine is a demanding flower. It yields a drop of wine in exchange of sweat or even life. He who drinks that last drop of nectar from the bottom of a crystal glass is celebrating a sacrifice.
João de Araújo Correia
About the Authors
John O’Connor was born in London. He studied at the Chelsea School of Art where he was awarded two drawing prizes and graduated with a first class honours degree in Fine Art. This was followed by two years of postgraduate study at the Slade School. His work is represented in various private and public collections in Portugal and England including the Selecções do Reader’s Digest, Grupo Pestana, Hotel da Lapa, Museu da Cidade de Lisboa, Câmara Municipal de Sintra, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the private collection of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales.
Maria do Carmo Paço d’Arcos was born in Lisbon into a family of celebrated literary tradition. She has worked in film production for many years. Recently, she has been translating English poets and organising art exhibitions.
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