The place where tiles become art

Founded in 1849 in Lisbon, Viúva Lamego has been producing tile for longer than most. Built between 1849 and 1865, the factory was originally the pottery workshop of António Costa Lamego and featured a decorative tiled façade by the factory’s artistic director Ferreira das Tabuletas.

Since the 1930’s the company has been collaborating with artists (such as comic illustrator Jorge Barradas) to emphasise and embrace the creative potential of tile. In the second half of the 20th century Maria Keil led the charge towards the outer limits of standardised tile designing striking compositions and panels for the Metropolitano de Lisboa.

Maria Kiel’s O Mar, Lisbon 1959

Today each tile the company makes continues to tell a story, taking on numerous artists to craft their visions in ceramic (including the one and only Diogo Machado). Another artist – Manuel Cargaliero – has been with the company since 1949 and specialises in designs with unique, sponteneous brushstrokes.

Lisbon-based artist and ceramicist Bela Silva, is another featured by the company. Her 3D collection offers snippets of her travels, with each pattern representing a visited location including Frida Kahlo’s kitchen (BS Ondas Yellow), London Underground stations (BS Sereia Verde), Flemish tapestries (BS Bosque Azul) and 1970s Portuguese cafés (BS Geometric Gold and Silver).

The company is also behind numerous murals decorating streets, interiors, and even pools. André Saraiva’s Jardim Botto Machado features a vibrant cartoonish land, awash with perspective play and colours of the future. Two restaurant murals by Henriette Arcelin at Taberna do Barrio do Avillez and Quinta do Quetzal offer diverse personalities to each space.

Jardim Botto Machado
Quinta do Queztal

A bold, swirling, splat-shaped swimming pool by Joana Vasconcelos for the Jupiter Artland Foundation contrasts wildly against its formal surroundings. Each tile, mural, and artwork extend the company’s decades-long ethos of collaboration, elevating tiles to be appreciated for the canvas they truly are.

Taberna do Barrio do Avillez
Jupiter Artland Foundation

Viúva Lamego

A new post by Hanna Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, June 2022.

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