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April 2015

- Elevador de Santa Justa -

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It is common knowledge that April weather surprises us anew almost every day. This is also true in Portugal, where – on any one given day – sunshine alternates with rain showers, mild breezes with a cutting west wind, the feel of winter with the promise of summer. Accordingly, I was all the more astonished when a broad band of rain clouds arrived over Lisbon and stayed there. With my painting equipment in my rucksack, I roamed helplessly through the town centre on the lookout for good subject matter and a spot where I could paint with protection from the rain and wind. Standing in front of a shopping centre, I noticed at the other end of the street the Elevador de Santa Justa, a magnificent steel lift that has connected the upper and lower parts of the city since 1902. I wondered whether I could set up to paint from behind a window in the shopping centre. “Why don’t you simply go to our balcony café on the fifth floor?” was the surprising answer given by the saleswoman I asked. On the fifth floor, I found the ideal spot – outside but under a protective covering – overlooking the lift and the roofs of Lisbon. I was as good as alone there with access to everything I needed. As I returned to the same spot in the following days, the rain no longer bothered me at all. But when the painting was finished, I welcomed the sudden change in weather and enjoyed my new strolls through the sunny city.

 

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