Your browser needs Javascript support for this feature. <h5><h3><h4>Museu Nacional do Azulejo (National Tile Museum)<br />Rua da Madre de Deus, nº 4 | 1900-312 Lisboa<br />Telf: (+351) 218 100 340    <br />e-mail: <a href="mailto:geral@mnazulejo.dgpc.pt">geral@mnazulejo.dgpc.pt</a>   <br /><br /><a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Museu-Nacional-do-Azulejo/179906992042145" target="_blank"><img width="284" height="287" style="WIDTH: 33px; HEIGHT: 36px" border="0" src="/Data/ContentImages/fb_icon_325x325.jpg" /></a></h4></h3></h5> - João Miguel dos Santos Simões
18 November 2018
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João Miguel dos Santos Simões


João Miguel dos Santos Simões was born in Lisbon in 1907. His father, José Rodrigues Simões, had a strong cultural background and a remarkable library with rare specimens. He was also the treasurer of the Archaeologists Society for several years. Meanwhile, the young Santos Simões had the opportunity to contact with the most important Art History scholars of that time, including Garcez Teixeira and Vergílio Correia. However, José Queiroz, an eminent ceramic researcher, was the figure who influenced him most to begin the development of studies concerning tiles and ceramics.


João Miguel dos Santos Simões


In 1929, Santos Simões has graduated in Textile Engineering at the École Superieure de Filature et Tissage at Mulhouse, because his father owned a textile factory in Tomar. In the 30’s, Santos Simões travelled in Europe and visited the main monuments and museums of important cities, which contributed to his artistic and historical knowledge. His first essay on tiles was published in 1942 in the well-known periodical “A Cidade de Évora”.

The year of 1944 was significant as tile researcher because he made an important theoretical formation in Madrid and a practical training at the Ruiz de la Luna factory (Talavera de la Reina), where he became aware of the technical procedures of making tiles. This period of training influenced him strongly and soon he set up a small laboratory at home to both study and examine the clay used in tiles and ceramics. The technical approach and the systematic knowledge inherited from his Sciences graduation were applied to the study of tiles. These methods appeared to be fundamental to create a typology of tile patterns studies, which are in use even in the present researchers.

From 1944 until 1972, Santos Simões published continuously many books, articles and reviews in Portugal and abroad, such as “Antwerpesche tegels van omstrecks 1558 in Portugal”, in collaboration with Van Herck, to Antwerpens Koninklike Oudheidkundige Kring; “Maioliche flamminghe e spagnole in Portogallo”, to Faenza; “Le role de la décoration céramique dans l’architecture portugaise dês XVII-XVIII siécles”, published in the proceedings of XVI Congrés International d’Histoire de l’Art; the awarded deep study « Le carreaux ceramiques hollandais au Portugal et en Espagne » and finally the important contribution to Fliesen with articles like “The tiles of Spain and Portugal” and “The influence of Dutch tiles in Portugal and Brasil”.

Santos Simões is the most distinguished author of tile and ceramic studies, leaving us the heritage of tile dissemination as an identity mark of Portuguese culture.


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