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Maria Keil

Ana Galvão



Technique: silkscreen

Dimensions:  14 X 14 cm

Editing: -

Reference: P0001
PVP:  €185

About Maria Keil

1934 : Born on May 13 in the City of Beira , Amadora, he was a Portuguese plastic artist who lived until 1977 in the City of Beira.

Maria Keil produced a large and diverse body of work that includes painting, drawing and illustration, tiles, graphic design and furniture, tapestry, scenography, etc. Of particular note is her intense activity as an illustrator, as well as the crucial role she played in the renovation of the contemporary tile in Portugal.



1929: Attends the Preparatory Course at the Escola de Belas Artes in Lisbon and then the course of painting (which does not finish), where she is a student of Veloso Salgado. Her artistic practice is characterized, from the beginning, by the diversity of techniques and means of expression. Over her life she will engage in a multiplicity of areas, including painting and drawing, illustration, graphic arts, engraving, tiles, tapestries, furniture, decoration, scenography and costumes.


1933: Married architect Francisco Keil do Amaral and two years later their only son, Francisco Pires Keil do Amaral (or Pitum Keil do Amaral) was born.


1936: Was a member of ETP (Estúdio Técnico de Publicidade, then formed by José Rocha), making friends with Carlos Botelho, Fred Kradolfer, Ofélia Marques and Bernardo Marques. In the following year she stayed in Paris during the construction of the Paris International Exhibition Pavilion (of which Keil do Amaral was architect), for which he created a decorative motif in Room IV - Outremer (Salle IV - Outremer).


1939: He exhibited individually for the first time (since there were no art galleries, the show was held at Galeria Larbom, a furniture store in Rua do Ouro, Lisbon); in the same year he took part in the IV Exhibition of Modern Art at S.P.N.


1940: Designed the sets and costumes for the ballet Lenda das Amendoeiras, presented in the premiere show of the Verde Gaio Ballet Company.


1941: Participates in the SPN shows of the two immediate years, winning the Souza-Cardoso Revelation Prize with Autorretrato.


1945 and 1955: Held a solo exhibition in 1945 and again in 1955: "this is an historic exhibition, since it marks, in the context of Portuguese art, levels of pioneering innovation in the fields of furniture and especially the tile" (this show marked the work of designing furniture for domestic interiors and also for commercial spaces linked to catering and hospitality, which she dedicated herself to since the early 1940s and until the middle of the next decade). There followed a long hiatus in which he devoted herself to a multiplicity of activities, only to exhibit again individually from 1983 forward.


1946 and 1956: She participated regularly in the General Exhibitions of Plastic Arts, SNBA, Lisbon.

Among the areas to which she dedicated herself with greater continuity, illustration must be highlighted. A multifaceted artist, Maria Keil wrote and illustrated books for children and adults, with publications entirely of her own (text and image) or illustrating works by Matilde Rosa Araújo, Aquilino Ribeiro, Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen, José Gomes Ferreira, Augusto Abelaira, Mário Dionísio, José Rodrigues Miguéis, Ilse Losa, among others.


1950-1977: Another important aspect of her work and one where she most distinguished herself was the tile, in which she began to work at the beginning of this decade. Maria Keil would become one of the main figures of modern renovation in this area. Of her vast production, we can underline the tile panel O mar, on Avenida Infante Santo, Lisbon, and her extensive collaboration with the Lisbon Underground. Beginning in 1957, this work would continue until approximately 1972, with the inauguration of the last stations of this first phase: Arroios, Alameda, Areeiro, Roma, and Alvalade. Maria Keil was the author of the panels of all the initial stations with the exception of Avenida. From 1977 onwards, some of these panels were totally or partially destroyed during the expansion of several stations, including Saldanha, Restauradores and Intendente.


1978: Participates in the traveling exhibition 5 Centuries of Tile in Portugal (Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Caracas); from that date his work integrates the main exhibitions (in Portugal and abroad) dedicated to the tile in Portugal.


1981: On April 9, 1981, she is awarded with the degree of Commander of the Ancient, Noble and Clarified Military Order of Sant'Iago da Espada, of the Scientific, Literary and Artistic Merit.


1989: The National Tile Museum organized a comprehensive exhibition on this facet of her work.


2012: Death on June 10th.


2013: The Museum of the Presidency of the Republic organizes, at the Palace of Cidadela de Cascais, in partnership with the Municipality of Cascais, the exhibition De propósito - Maria Keil, obra artística, presenting a retrospective and comprehensive view of her works.[9]

She has a library named after her in Lisbon, in Lumiar.

Translated with (free version)

Ana Galvão

If you like Maria Keil´s work, you might also be interested in  Oskar Pinto Lobo, Noronha da Costa and João Murilo´s work

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