Basking in Bahia – Paintings exhibition at Galeria Côrte-Real

It is 500 years since the first Europeans sailed west across the Atlantic and came across a sparkling bay fringed with white sand. They named the place Bahia, meaning bay. Now one of Brazil’s most colourful states, on a recent journey, it played host to Pedro Côrte-Real.

Co-owner of Galeria Côrte- Real in Paderne, Pedro soaked up the atmosphere and created a series of paintings that are a true reflection of Bahia’s natural beauty, its vibrancy and multi-cultural background.

Overlooking the immensity of the ocean, perched high on an escarpment, the settlement of Salvador de Bahia became the Portuguese colonial capital of the region. Finding himself in a city where American Indian, European and African influences converge, Pedro – who spent his formative years in Angola and his adult life in Portugal – was captivated. His paintings reflect the blend of cultures, the faded glory of the architecture and a way of life that is distinctively its own.

Unsurprisingly, with boundless stimuli around, Salvador de Bahia is the hub of a flourishing art scene. Contemporary galleries and museums abound filled with works of art inspired by the surroundings. Bringing a glimpse of this eclectic mix of the people and their history, Pedro’s paintings are a celebration of the pleasure he experienced in Bahia.

Côrte-Real has a pop-up gallery in the centre of Carvoeiro above estate agents Fine & Country. The main gallery ‘Galeria Côrte-Real’ is signposted from Boliqueime, Ferreiras and Paderne. It is open Thursday to Sunday, from 11am to 5pm.

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Photo: Painting by Pedro Côrte-Real at Galeria Côrte-Real