Saturday, 10 January 2009

António Passaporte (1901-1983)

Antonio Passaporte knew how to photograph a garden.

Nº 95 SINTRA -- Parque de Monserrate, Bosque das Palmeiras. Glass negative. c. 1952.

Lets hope the other 94 turn up one day. This postcard is from the collection of the Lisbon Municipal Archive. This is perhaps the best photograph of "Mexico". It can be located precisely today since many oif the palms in the photograph still survive today, in particular the Archontophoenix cunninghamiana and the adjacent Livistona chinensis. Agaves, bromelias, rhododendrons, nolinas, a Kentia palm.

Nº 96 SINTRA - Parque de Monserrate, Bosque dos Fetos.

Again the best surviving photograph. This is how the Fern Valley looked when Monserrate was sold to the state. Taken from the bottom of the path that zig-zags down through the valley (from here a level path leads to the chapel by the right). An old Cork Tree that has since fallen is seen in top right-hand corner. It is important to understand that the fern valley was open to the sky. There is a dangerous misconception that it was shaded. Tree ferns are plants of open glades, requiring full light - with PLENTY OF WATER.

Nº 97 missing

98 SINTRA -- Parque de Monserrate, Victoria Regina.

Sorry Antonio, but you are no botanist. Just plain old water lilies in this view. Notice the clump of reeds below th araucaria - stops visitors walking around lake (but does not block the view from palacio). Also lawn sweeps down to shore of lake without interruption. Water level is the same as bottom of lawn.

More ! Nº 135 SINTRA -- Palacio de Monserrate, Vista Panoramica.

Any lead on those roofs?! Dome looks very patchy - was it painted red at this period? Creepers on wall of library and Indian room.

Nº 137 - Antonio you are brilliant! Here is the chapel complete with Etruscan Cave Dweller.

Very atmospheric photograph. Clearly visible are the various Begonias described as cultivated in the chapel. In the foreground B. manicata, and to the left B. rex. Baskets of ferns hang from the rafters. The trunks of a long gone Wisteria snakes around the cave, perhaps a Semele climbing up it.

There are more photos by Antonio Passaporte search the blog.

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