13 June: Remembering Aurélia de Souza on Birthday

OV Digital Desk
2 Min Read
Aurélia de Souza

Image Courtesy: Google Doodle

Aurélia de Souza (13 June 1866 – 26 May 1922) was a Portuguese painter.

Life and Career

On 13 June 1866, Maria Aurélia de Souza was born to Portuguese immigrants in Valparaíso, Chile. Her family returned to their homeland after acquiring a farm along the Douro river near Porto, Portugal. It was on these idyllic banks that de Souza began to paint and draw at the age of 16. After only three years, she painted her first self-portrait—an art form that became her hallmark.

In 1893, de Souza further refined her talent in the Portuguese tradition as a student of the Porto Academy of Fine Arts. De Souza moved to Paris in 1899, where she expanded her palette as an apprentice of several French masters. After one year in her new home, she captured herself dressed wearing a red-coat in the oil painting “Self-Portrait,” a work widely regarded as her most famous. She continued to draw influence from the international arts in the years that followed, traveling across Europe before returning to Portugal in 1902.

She died on 26 May 1922 at the age of 55.

Award and Legacy

De Souza’s paintings were regularly featured at her alma mater, just one of the many prestigious Portuguese galleries that championed her work. In addition to her lifelong work as a painter, de Souza also illustrated for Portuguese magazines and the 1913 short story entitled “Perfis Suaves” (“Smooth Profiles”).

On 13 June 2021, Google celebrated Aurélia de Souza’s 155th birthday with a doodle.

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