Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso belongs to the first generation of Portuguese modernist painters. Born in 1887 in Amarante, he is distinguished by the exceptional quality of his work and the dialogue established with the historical early twentieth century avant-gardes. His painting is openly structured to movements such as Cubism, Futurism and Expressionism, reaching many times - and in a sustained manner in his recent years - a level at all comparable to the production of his top international art contemporary.
In 1905 he entered the preparatory course design at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Lisbon, aged 18. A year later, he left to Paris, settling in Montparnasse, famous meeting place for intellectuals and artists, where he would live all the seven years of residence in that city. Thus, he established contact with other Portuguese artists living in Paris, among them Francisco Smith, Eduardo Viana and Emmerico Nunes.
In 1909 he attended the classes of the painter Anglada-Camarasa, at the Académie Vitti and, later, the Free Academies.
In 1910 he established a strong and lasting friendship with Modigliani, Constantin Brancusi and Alexander Archipenko.
In 1911, Modigliani e Amadeo inaugurated an exhibition at the Portuguese painter studio; its roll of honor was signed by Picasso, Apollinaire, Max Jacob and Derain. In the same year he participated, for the first time, in a major international exhibition, the XXVII Salon des Independents. It was a determining exposure and gave high visibility to Cubism. In that same year he met Sonia and Robert Delaunay and, through them, Apollinaire, Picabia, Chagall, Boccioni, Klee, Franz Marc and Auguste Macke.
After his return to Portugal, he settled in Vila do Conde and passed through Lisbon. There, he lived with Almada Negreiros and members of the Orpheu group. In 1918 he contracted a skin disease that affected him in the face and hands, preventing him from working. He took refuge in Espinho, where, in that year, succumbed to the Spanish flu epidemic. He was 30 years old.