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José Vital Branco Malhoa (1855 – 1933), commonly known as José Malhoa was a Naturalist Portuguese painter. Born in a family of farmers April 28th in Caldas da Rainha, Portugal, Malhoa revealed artistic aptitude from early age. At 12, went to the Fine Art school in Lisbon where he studied for 8 years. His dedication and talent were quickly noticed, allowing him to win all the 1st prizes every year. By the end of his studies in Lisbon, Malhoa applied for scholarships to further continue his studies in a foreign country but with little success. And without possibility of a financially support, he is forced to work for his older brother in a clothing store.

Never completely putting his brushes aside, he worked 3 years for his brother, until his work in 1881 (Seara Invadida) was accepted for an exhibition in Madrid where it was extremely well received. It was the end of the clothing store job, dedicated full-time to art since, it was the start of many commissions and exposure that never stopped. Founder and president of the Society of Fine Art, member of Grupo do Leão along side with notorious Portuguese painters of the time (Silva Porto, Columbano, Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, António Ramalho, João Vaz, Henrique Pinto, Ribeiro Cristino, Moura Girão, Rodrigues Vieira and many others), Malhoa  won endless medals, awards and honours through his life. In 1928 received a National tribute, in 1933 the José Malhoa museum was created. The artist died that same year, 17th of October in Figueiró dos Vinhos. The museum’s inauguration was in 28th of April of the following year, the day of his anniversary. José Malhoa Foundation still exists to this day, to help young upcoming artists.

Self-portrait, 1906, Charcoal on paper, 1906

Museums with José Malhoa’s work in Portugal.


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