Alfredo Roque Gameiro

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Self-portrait (1910s)
El-Rei D. Carlos I painted by A. Roque Gameiro

Alfredo Roque Gameiro (4 April 1864, Minde - 15 August 1935, Lisbon) was a Portuguese painter and graphic artist who specialized in watercolors and is widely regarded as one of the world's best watercolourists, highly specialised in depicting major events of the Portuguese Colonial Empire. He was born to a family of merchants and later become very influential all over Portugal.


Alfredo Roque Gameiro was born in Minde, Portugal. When he was ten years old, he went to live in Lisbon with his oldest brother, Justin, who owned a lithography studio.[1] He studied at the Escola das Belas Artes of the University of Lisbon, where José Simões de Almeida [pt] was one of his professors.

Rua de São Miguel in Alfama (from Lisboa Velha)

After receiving a scholarship from the Portuguese government, he attended the "Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst" in Leipzig and studied lithography with Ludwig Nieper (1826-1906).[1] Upon returning to Portugal in 1886, he became the Director of the "Companhia Nacional Editora" and, in 1894, was appointed a Professor at the "Escola Industrial do Príncipe Real".

He was a frequent contributor to several weekly and monthly periodicals and worked with Manuel de Macedo (1839-1915) to provide illustrations for a deluxe edition of The Lusiads, published in 1900. From 1910 to 1920 he created 10 watercolors and 90 lithographs for what would be his most popular work, Lisboa Velha (Old Lisbon), with an introduction by the poet Afonso Lopes Vieira [pt]. He also illustrated several popular novels by Júlio Dinis. In 1919, he became the first Director of the "Escola de Arte Aplicada de Lisboa", a position he held until 1930. The following year, he and his daughter Helena had a successful joint exhibition in Brazil. He was elected a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in 1923.

Three institutions bear his name: the "Escola Roque Gameiro" in Amadora (where he lived for many years), the "Casa Roque Gameiro" (his home, partly designed by Raul Lino; now an exhibition space) and the "Centro de Artes e Ofícios Roque Gameiro" in his hometown, which includes a museum devoted to watercolors. A majority of his works are on display at the municipal museum there, including many on loan from the Gulbenkian Foundation. Some of his designs appear on Portuguese postage stamps.

Portrait of his daughter Màmia (1919)

All five of his children became artists: [2] miniaturadaimagem|Retrato do El-Rei Carlos I por Alfredo Roque Gameiro


  1. ^ a b Brief biography @ A Arte em Portugal.
  2. ^ Luís Cabral A family of artists

Further reading[edit]

  • Maria Lucília Abreu, Roque Gameiro: o homem e a obra (the man and his work), ACD Edições, 2005, ISBN 972-8855-17-6
  • Thereza Leitão de Barros, Exposição retrospectiva da obra de Roque Gameiro, Lisbon, 1946.

External links[edit]