Antonio Dias Charrua Biography

Antonio Dias Charrua




Antonio Dias Charrua was born in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 6, 1925. Charrua’s artistic trajectory began when he was introduced to the works of Picasso and Van Gough in 1945. Though at the time he was an ardent student of engineering and physics, he took up painting and drawing in his spare time. By 1948 he had abandoned his plan to become an engineer and began courses at the Academy of Fine Arts, Lisbon. He started with architecture but soon transferred to a fine arts degree, studying painting, sculpture, ceramics, and printmaking.


In 1953 he exhibited for the first time at the National Society of Fine Arts’ General Exhibition of Visual Arts, and had his first solo exhibition at the Galeria Antonio Carneiro in Porto that same year. By this time, Charrua had married Maria Alcina da Luz Andrade and moved to Evora. He quickly established himself as a working artist and befriended other artists such as Lima de Freitas, Henrique Ruivo, and Joao Cutileiro, and participated in group shows throughout the region. The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation soon sponsored the artist by way of grants and scholarships that allowed him to travel throughout Europe. They would eventually showcase his work in major shows in 1957, ’61, and ’86.


A prolific worker, Charrua’s career included stained glass windows, tiles, and tapestries, as well as the painting and printmaking that reflected his love of Expressionism and Portuguese landscapes and architecture. He remained active well into his 70s. After the death of his wife in 2002, he stopped exhibiting, but continued to create. He died in Evora on August 21, 2008.


More information on the artist can be found at the website for the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum,