Siza at sixteen

sizafigure_1200.jpg – Drawing Matter

Álvaro Siza (*1933), study of Rodin's 'Weeping Burgher', c. 1949. Pencil on paper. Courtesy of the architect.
In the Summer of 1949, Siza was preparing for the admission exam in the Beaux-Arts School, where Architecture was taught. Admission to study Fine Arts Admission, at that time, was gained by a test of the drawing of a statue – he ultimately drew a statue of a 'timid young Augustus'.

Pouco a pouco, quase sem dar por isso, o carvão começou a não partir, o papel a não manchar, o miolo de pão a manter a plasticidade, o fôlego a aumentar. E a confiança.

Slowly but steadily, unwittingly, the lead began to not break, paper to not stain, the bread crumb* to maintain plasticity, our stamina increasing. And our self-reliance.

– Álvaro Siza describing a collective learning experience in the drawing atelier of Isolino Vaz in the summer of 1949. Sketchbook 311: Holanda 2 – Jardins Paris – Fonte Taipa, August 1990. (CCA)

*‘Miolo de pão’ translates as ‘Bread Crumb’, as in the inside of a loaf of bread that you get when you remove the crust... which was (and is) used as an eraser for charcoal or graphite. I believe Crumb is the exact word, but because it is not so common-use, you can find ‘crust-less bread’ as a replacement in many texts... – Manuel Montenegro

2020-07-07 letter Niall Hobhouse.1200.jpg – Drawing Matter

Letter to Niall Hobhouse, 7 July 2020