Maria Hélena Vieira Da Silva

1908 - 19921 artwork

About the artist

Maria Elena, also rendered Marie-Hélène, was a Portuguese- born painter of semi-abstract compositions. When she was seven years old, she began studying drawing and painting at the Academie de Belas-Artes in Lisbon. In her teen years she studied painting, sculpture and engraving. In 1928 Vieira da Silva settled in Paris to study sculpture in Paris, but decided to focus on painting in 1929. Her... Read moreMaria Elena, also rendered Marie-Hélène, was a Portuguese- born painter of semi-abstract compositions. When she was seven years old, she began studying drawing and painting at the Academie de Belas-Artes in Lisbon. In her teen years she studied painting, sculpture and engraving. In 1928 Vieira da Silva settled in Paris to study sculpture in Paris, but decided to focus on painting in 1929. Her paintings were exhibited in Paris in 1930: the same year she married the Hungarian painter Árpád Szenes.

After a stay in Lisbon and a period spent in Brazil during World War II (1940-1947), Vieira da Silva returned to Paris and became a French citizen in 1956. Vieira da Silva received the French government's Grand Prix National des Arts in 1966. She was named a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1979. She died in Paris, France on 6 March 1992. Although the abstract patterning of Vieira da Silva’s early paintings tended toward the decorative, in her mature work she combined highly detailed, complicated patterns with spatial manipulations.

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