The painter Manuel Casa Branca's vision of the Montada

Publié le par Anne Katrine Geelmuyden

Manuel Casa Branca is a teacher and journalist in Montemor who started an artist's education some years ago. Before he went to LIsbon, he had painted "science fiction", and when he got to the city, he realized that he needed to deal with his native countryside, which was what he really understood. Since then he has painted cork oaks.


He approaches each tree as a personality and he sees the different trees as having relationships as if they were persons. There are trees with straight trunks that are proud and on their own, and there are the trees that express a relationship with other trees, because their branches stretching out as if they were fingers on a hand. For him as a painter, the "spaces" created between the branches are an important shape in each picture, just as important as the form of each branch.

Some of the views of the landscape of Montemor, Manuel compares with jazz. It is a landscape with varying dotted patterns, as if a rythmic complexity. He goes to the river sometimes because it is cool, and he calls it the landscape of light and shade. He likes the blue of the sky reflected in the waer, but he finds this landscape difficult to paint. He finds the views of the castle seen in between trees interesting, because, what is the point of interest in these views is the most distant and the least visible, especially if it is hazy like now.

Lately he has made a series of pictures that are more bstract that he calls "Re-montada", because they are a way of understanding this landscape in a more conceptualized way. There are women, because he finds this landscape female: the portuguese religion emphasizes the female aspect of the spiritual in that very many of the churches are dedicated to "Nossa Segnora ....".The different tree-shapes are used as symbols or "letters".

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In one picture, Manuel has expressed his feelings about the increasing amount of fences. Movement in the landcape is forced to become more geometric, where it used to be a free flow.

Publié dans portugal 2008

Commenter cet article

Manuel Casa Branca 12/04/2008 13:41

Olá Anne KatrineThank you for your words. You really understood very well the spirit of my work. Good luck for your projects, equally. greetings fromManuel CB