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Tiled Panoramas of Lisbon by Fred Kradolfer

January 20, 2021 getLISBON 0Comment
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Have you taken an attentive look at the tiled panoramas of Lisbon that are in four viewpoints of the city? If not, it’s time to break your routine and visit these places where the panels have been for nearly 60 years, indicating the interest points that can be seen from there.

It is particularities like this that getLISBON proposes to draw your attention to. How many people have passed by these panels without seeing them, how many ignore their authorship…

Let’s get to know the artist who designed these tiled panoramas of Lisbon and the places where you can admire them. You’ll want to know them!

Get to know Lisbon’s historic neighbourhoods in a guided tour and discover unmissable places of this magnificent city.

Fred Kradolfer, the Swiss Designer in Portugal

Fred Kradolfer was a graphic designer who carried out his work in Portugal between the 1920s and 1930s. The importance and diversity of his work, as well as the pioneering initiative of introducing in the country a modern graphic language, make this artist a remarkable figure in the scope of Portuguese design.

Born in Zurich in 1903, he graduated in jewelry in this city and in graphic design in the fine art academy in Berlin, as well as in architecture in the academy of Munich.

After having worked as a decorator and store window designer in cities such as Rotterdam, Brussels and Paris, he settled down in Lisbon in 1824, where he lived until he passed away in 1968.

One of his addresses was the house of evocative plaques in Bairro Alto. This curious building presents nothing less than seven plaques referring to many other notable people who lived there in different eras.

Fred Kradolfer developed a truly revolutionary work when it comes to graphic communication in all its aspects, focusing on the stylisation of the forms articulated with the text.

Influencer of the second generation of Portuguese modernist artists, he worked with names such as Jorge Barradas, Stuart de Carvalhais, Bernardo Marques, Carlos Botelho and Maria Keil, among many others.

He was part of the team of the National Propaganda Secretariat known as “the team of António Ferro”, which allowed him a vast production with great visibility.

Some members of the “team of António Ferro”, National Propaganda Secretariat, 1939, from upper left to lower right: Thomaz de Mello (Tom), Fred Kradolfer, Emmérico Nunes, Bernardo Marques, Carlos Botelho e José Rocha.
Some members of the “team of António Ferro”, National Propaganda Secretariat, 1939, from upper left to lower right: Thomaz de Mello (Tom), Fred Kradolfer, Emmérico Nunes, Bernardo Marques, Carlos Botelho e José Rocha.

Among many other projects he created: advertising posters; labels; covers and illustrations of books and magazines; stamps; shop windows; decorations; stained glass …

He took part in international exhibitions such as: the Colonial Exhibition in 1931 and the International Exhibition of Art and Technology in Modern Life in 1937 in Paris; the New York World’s Fair in 1939; and the Portuguese World Exhibition in 1940…

Tiles by Fred Kradolfer

Fred Kradolfer has also done many tile projects.

He created designs for lambrilhas, small tiles with single figures, which represent colourful typical Portuguese motifs. These tiles, which were very popular in the 30s, are still today produced by Viúva Lamego Factory.

Lambrilhas produced by the Viúva Lamego Factory, located in Solar dos Zagallos
Lambrilhas produced by the Viúva Lamego Factory, located in Solar dos Zagallos

He produced ceramic plates with the name of the fishing boats of Boca do Inferno, in Cascais, but they’ve unfortunately already disappeared.

And he also had even larger projects such as: two panels for the interior of the Infante Santo Hotel, the decoration of the Soponata headquarters building, both in Lisbon; or the entire tile covering of the chapel of Campo Militar de Santa Margarida, in Constância.

Tiled Panoramas of Lisbon

The symbol of the city of Lisbon is shown in the tiled panorama of Senhora do Monte Viewpoint
The symbol of the city of Lisbon is shown in the tiled panorama of Senhora do Monte Viewpoint

But today in this article we want to highlight the tiled panoramas of Lisbon by Fred Kradolfer.

In the early 60s the City Council of Lisbon ordered Kradolfer tiled panoramas, which were destined for the viewpoints of the city. They’re in total five panels, produced in different years in the Viúva Lamego Factory.

The oldest one dates back to 1962 and is located in the viewpoint of São Pedro de Alcântara Garden. In the following year two more were produced: one for São Jorge Castle and the second one for Senhora do Monte Viewpoint, in Graça. The last two were produced in 1965 and were destined for Monte Agudo Viewpoint and, once again, for the Senhora do Monte one.

All panels present the name of the viewpoint where they’re located and the respective date in roman numbers, except for the one in Monte Agudo, in which the numbers are arabic.

Another exception in this panel is the fact that the symbol of the city of Lisbon, a boat with the crows of Saint Vicent, was replaced by the initials C.M.L (City Council of Lisbon acronym). There’s no reference to the city in the latest panel of the Senhora do Monte Viewpoint.

A compass is present in the panels of São Jorge Castle, in the oldest of Senhora do Monte, as well as in the Monte Agudo one.

In all panels we find a reference to the factory where they were produced and only the panels of Senhora do Monte don’t seem to have been signed by the author.

In the colourful panels are represented the views that can be seen from the places they’re located in. Churches, monuments, public interest buildings, among others are identified there… In the oldest panel, the one in São Pedro de Alcântara, these names are inscribed in small phylacteries that cover the entire panorama.

Now that you know the story of the tiled panoramas of Lisbon, go to the different viewpoints, admire the city from various perspectives and observe the panels with new eyes. 😉

São Pedro de Alcântara Garden, 1962

São Pedro de Alcântara Garden, 1962

São Jorge Castle, 1963

São Jorge Castle, 1963

São Jorge Castle, 1963

Nossa Senhora do Monte Viewpoint, 1963

Nossa Senhora do Monte Viewpoint, 1963

Nossa Senhora do Monte Viewpoint, 1963

Nossa Senhora do Monte Viewpoint, 1965

Nossa Senhora do Monte Viewpoint, 1965

Nossa Senhora do Monte Viewpoint, 1965

Monte Agudo Viewpoint, 1965

Monte Agudo Viewpoint, 1965

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