Du vin et de la musiqu: Les tavernes de Lisbonne et le ‘Fado’ de Malhoa

Translated title of the contribution: Wine and music: Lisbon taverns and Malhoa's ‘Fado’

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Starting from the painting ‘O Fado’ (1910), by José Malhoa (1855-1933), we will try to clarify some of the connections that the artist sought to expose in the relationship between the homonymous poetic-musical genre and one of his preferred territories: the environment of traditional taverns in Lisbon.
The multiplicity of elements that are present in the painting, among them the music and wine, converge, in a distinct but evident way, aiming to provide the observer with an evocative scene of Lisbon's bohemian environment, a social portrait where traces of the city's vicious life transpire in the beginning of the 20th century, a context in which Fado asserts itself as a musical genre but also as a form of criticism and political-social intervention.
The unusual reception of Malhoa's art piece, which made it one of the most famous Portuguese paintings of the 20th century, helped it to assume a place of absolute preponderance regarding Fado’s iconography, contributing to a sort of popular consecration which, at a certain moment, crystallized as a poetic-musical form identifier of the country.
The painting continues, in its essence, to carry the same significant and conceptual elements that the artist wanted to give it, so that his study, even at a distance of more than a century, is still justified and deserves reflection, also because Fado, as a form of cultural expression and, as such, of communication and intervention, remains very dynamic in today's society.
Translated title of the contributionWine and music: Lisbon taverns and Malhoa's ‘Fado’
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)201-219
Number of pages19
JournalImago Musicae
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventBetween ecstasy and inspiration: wine and music in the visual arts - La Cité du Vin, Bordeaux, France
Duration: 21 Jun 201823 Jun 2018


  • Musical iconography
  • Fado
  • Portuguese art


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