Article from Gebrauchsgraphik, 5, 1963
Portugal faces the Atlantic Ocean and this is why the effect of its culture has always been felt overseas rather than in Europe and this is also why this country has been hardly discovered by Continental Europeans until today. Our longing for the South usually already is stilled when we reach the Mediterranean and the countries bordering it. Particularly it is the cultures of Greece and Rome whose influence we acknowledge and whose sun and splendour we seek. Portugal still has for us a touch of the outlandish, an African, an Oriental note.
Our travel agencies have not yet discovered Portugal. But the first gay ambassadors of international relations, the Portuguese travel posters, begin to appear in increasing numbers in our travel agencies and in a very individual manner sing the praise of the beaches, of rivers and landscapes. The tiring monotony of many examples of commercial art, which also affects many travel posters and turns them into crowded displays of city, country and people, is absent here. They are fresh and unusual and compel us to inquire into their cultural and spiritual sources. Everywhere one feels the influences not only of the English and the Atlantic heritage but also those which result from the close cultural and economic ties linking Portugal with overseas countries and particularly Latin America. These traits are manifest in exhibitions and other cultural events.
Government and private initiatives have made the artists familiar with worldwide developments which now affect the traditional values of the nation. They are blended with the wealth of forms and colorfulness of living folklore and the great tradition of artistic craftsmen. The combined effect lends to these works of graphic art a new value and appearance which are both foreign and interesting. The covers of the periodical ALMANAQUE, which is published in Lisbon, are perfect examples of this pleasure in the unusual and the force of with which all sorts of foreign influences are assimilated. We owe these ingenious and witty solutions to the graphic artists Sebastião Rodrigues and João Abel.