Art, Art on the Metro 6: Picoas

Art on the Metro 6: Picoas

Picoas Metro station is notable for two stylistically different, but equally impressive, works of art. One is incorporated into the station exterior at street level and the other lines the platforms of the station. Together they make Picoas one of the most endearing Metro stations in Lisbon.

As you enter the station at the entrance on Rua Andrade Corvo you could be forgiven for thinking that you were in Paris, as the decoration around the entrance is that of a stereotypical Paris Metro station, with decorative cast-iron railings and a distinctive ‘Metropolitano’ sign, in the Paris Metro Metropolitanes font, arching over the entrance. The design is based on that of early-20th century Paris Metro stations, which were created by the Art Nouveau architect and designer Hector Guimard (1867-1942), and it was donated to the Lisbon Metro by the Paris Metro in 1995.

The tiled panels that line the platforms of the station were added in 1994, when the station was remodelled. The 12 panels were created by the painter and sculptor Martins Correia (1910-1999) as an homage to the city of Lisbon. The large abstract images in black and white with splashes of colour depict aspects of the city, including the coat of arms and architectural features. But it is the images of the working-class women of Lisbon that are the most striking, in particular, the tall, dignified black silhouettes of the traditional female fish vendors (varinas) with baskets of fish (canastras) on their heads, to which Correia masterfully adds bold splashes of colour, bringing a joyfulness to the scenes.

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