Artur Pastor, a Portuguese life

Artur Pastor, a Portuguese life

If you buy a Luz Editions product today, it is undoubtedly because you are attracted above all by the photograph. Or maybe, just an avid home decor passionate...

However, few of you know the photographer chosen for this first collection.
It was therefore important for me to pay him a little tribute and -if possible- to make you interested in his work at the same time.

Of all the Portuguese photographers, none will have documented Portuguese life as much as Artur Pastor, and that in a poetic and ingenuous way.

Some want to be photographers, others are born photographers and it is undoubtedly to this conclusion that we arrive when we discover the photographic reportages of Artur Pastor produced for his work as an agricultural engineer and which have become a reference in Portugal, a Portugal from another time.

If the man and the photographer were humble, the work is majestic. It is with no limitation that he tirelessly traveled his small country: lands and seas, fields and beaches, towns and countrysides, no place was left behind.

Artur Pastor photographer

Artur Pastor was born in Alter do Chão on May 1, 1922 and died in Lisbon on October 17, 1999.

It was in 1942, to document his final thesis as an agricultural regent, that he discovered a fascination for photography which accompanied him until the end of his life.

The conquest of photography:

In Évora, where he lived at the time, he was involved in many projects. His first exhibition "Motivos do Sul", took place in Faro, in 1946, where he presented three hundred photos. Other exhibitions in Évora and Setúbal followed.

At the same time, he began to present his works in illustrated publications, postcards, stamps and posters. During this period of his artistic life, he collaborated with several newspapers in the south of the country and with articles of a literary nature. In the early fifties, he worked for the Ministry of Agricultural Services in Montalegre

In 1953, he moved to Lisbon. In this city, he was part of the 6 × 6 Foto Clube. With his unique vision of the agricultural world, he left to future generations a photographic heritage of great documentary and artistic value.

Artur Pastor

The recognition:

For his work as a photographer at the Ministry of Agriculture, he received the rank of Officer of the Order of Agricultural and Industrial Merit.

He presented his work individually through 13 photographic exhibitions, in particular at the Palácio Foz, in 1970, with 360 works and at the Palácio Galveias, in 1986, with 136 photographs. He has published two beautiful books: "Nazaré" and "Algarve", whose texts, photos and pagination are his accomplishment.

In addition to covering all the mainland and island regions of the Portugal, there are collections from various provinces of Spain and Italy and the cities of Paris and London. He left ready the exhibition "A historical and ethnographic view of the country", with photographs of Portugal in black and white and in color, and others, in particular on Lisbon, Porto, Braga, Évora and Sintra.

"The author expresses a deep passion for the land and the Portuguese people, reproduced with affection and dignity. Even when focusing humble scenes, he elevates them. His photographs are always pictures of great beauty, poetry, truth, honesty of purpose. Not just a reproduction; he transmits a message, sometimes rested, sometimes vigorous and dynamic. (…) The domain of light and framing, in his composition in which no detail is left to chance, (…) served by a technique admirably safe and so much more to point out
because all the “clichés” were obtained with
Rolleiflex 6x6 machine. (…)" - Citation exhibition catalog, Palácio Foz 1970

Artur Pastor

The posterity :

In 2001, his work was acquired, almost entirely, by the Municipal Photographic Archives of Lisbon. The Photographic Archives of Artur Pastor contain thousands of photographs, hundreds of which have immeasurable historical value, images of a lost or changed country, in black and white, color slides and color negatives.

As the centenary of his birth approaches, it is without a doubt that exhibitions, catalogs and books will be published.

In the meantime, you can (re) discover his work on:


Artur Pastor

Sources : 

“Jornal Portal da Estrela”

“A vida do «franco-atirador»: Artur Pastor, seis décadas de fotografia Contributo para uma biografia”(por  Ana Saraiva)

Photographs : Artur Pastor portraits (family collection)
Artur Pastor photographs from Arquivo Municipal Lisboa


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1 comment

  • Fascinating to read this history, Paula. He’d surely be so proud to read this, and to know how you are bringing his work, in such a beautiful and artisitic way to your clients.

    Jilly Bennett

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