New Delhi (PTI): In November 1755, the capital city of Portugal was hit by an earthquake. Lisbon, known for its architectural heritage, was razed to the ground minutes later by a tsunami destroying whatever little was spared.
The city was decimated.
But with time, it recreated itself rebuilding the architecture which has awed Goa-based artist Deviprasad C Rao to produce a body of work titled ‘Lisbon Impact’ and ‘Lisbon Calling’.
Rao’s works, showcasing the vivacity of the city by exploring the quintessential Pombaline architecture, are up for view at an ongoing exhibition titled “My journey to Portugal- Prelude”.
The art show at India International Center here, displays works inspired from his journey to Portugal since 2013. The show is a curtain raiser to a proposed exhibition which is scheduled to be unveiled in Portugal in 2019.
In its first series, the artworks depict selected historical, central and northern Portugal cities of Lisbon, Sintra, Cascais, Obidos, Porto, Fatima, Coimbra, Guimaraes, Minho and Braga.
During his travel to these cities, Rao painted his own experiences and expressed the cultural and architectural heritage on the canvas with a vision of his own.
While talking about his first visit to Lisbon, Rao recalls, “When I went to Lisbon for the first time I was in awe of the beauty of the buildings there. It is a different feeling altogether to look at the way the city has developed since the devastating earthquake.
“I was looking to paint a city which was really dense as the technique of my painting and Lisbon offered me that. There is so much character to capture at every corner of the street.”
His paintings display the quaint Portuguese towns and homes huddled near huge buildings that are reminiscent of the traditional 18th century Pombaline architecture.
Lisbon’s trademark seven hills stretching across the city have been shown in vibrant hues of greens along with the urban landscape painted in shades of reds and blues.
Unlike other artists, Rao doesn’t seek inspiration in nature. Instead he looks reaches out to man-made structures.
“Nature doesn’t surprise me much. What stuns me are these mammoth buildings which have history associated with them.
“Today we have technology to build structures but back then there was nothing. These beautiful buildings which were created in those times have histories of civilisation behind them,” he says.
The self-taught artist is also planning to explore the architectural heritage of around 52 Indian cities.
“I have shortlisted several cities which I am soon going to visit for my next series. Once completed I will be taking my work to different countries where India shares diplomatic relations,” he says.
The exhibition is set to continue till July 26.