It is mostly in rural communities – inland from the Algarve coast – that religious traditions continue to be practiced. The widow pictured, dressed in black, is the subject of Corinne Lajouanie’s painting displayed at Galeria Côrte-Real.
The gallery is located in a country ‘quinta’ on the outskirts of Paderne, a typical inland village where for many centuries life has hardly changed.
Across the whole of Portugal, the Catholic Church inspires greater devotion from women than from men.
Within the older generation when a husband dies, his widow may decide to remain in mourning for the rest of her life. Generally, the closer the relationship to the deceased, the longer black is worn. Typically this is seven to 10 years for a parent and two to three years for an in-law.
In the past there were high levels of infant mortality and for this reason the death of a child does not require a formal period of mourning. It is customary for a Requiem Mass to be said but there is no necessity to wear black clothes.
Many of the paintings at the gallery feature Algarvian landscapes, coast and village scenes and people. The owners of Côrte-Real also promote local arts and crafts including handmade ceramics, tiles, woodwork and wrought iron.
The gallery is signposted from Boliqueime, Ferreiras and Paderne. It is open Thursday to Sunday from 11am until 5pm.
912 737 762 | [email protected] | www.corterealarte.com
By CAROLYN KAIN
Photo: Painting by Corinne Lajouanie at Galeria Côrte-Real