Monday the 29th 01/24 

Litografia Ribeiro

SEMINAR: "Lithography in Porto"


Friday the 2nd 02/24 

Exhibition Opening

to the public at 16 PM

Rua Visconde de Setúbal 70, Porto


Tuesday the 30th 01/24 

    Atelier NOMADE: lithography in situ is an all-encompassing project that brings together illustration, architecture, geology, and urban geography through the practice of lithography, allowing its participants to take part in a unique and enriching experience. Throughout this event, participants will get involved in a multidisciplinary practice, exploring the complexity and interconnectedness of these disciplines by mapping the city of Porto’s terrain and the lithographers who lived and worked in the city.

Focusing on an art form more commonly practiced and associated with a designated workshop space and challenging the separation between cultural and architectural heritage and artistic investigation, this project promotes this dialogue by using lithography as a means to approximate lithography itself with urban territory and the visual archives that originate from this same territory.

This project’s program was organized around a technologically based approach, centered on getting intimately acquainted with the tools used in the art of lithography, making use of raw materials such as supports, pigments, among others of local extraction, the study of lithography and its relationship with the history and growth of the city and, finally, the application of these concepts through in situ excursions throughout the city to practice in situ lithography. With the help of technological archaeology, artistic investigation, and experimentation within the medium of lithography, the program proposes to reflect upon relevant ecological questions, reaffirming the need to rethink the dualities of human nature and human city. Every stage of the proposed program was established to challenge what we perceive to be a gap between technological and historical knowledge, giving particular importance to relearning processes and instruments used as tools for the observation and the questioning of what we perceive to be real. This is something we believe transcends all of these disciplines and areas of knowledge and that has the potential to be part of a significant discussion for future generations.

Historically, lithography has been associated with scientific development, allowing it to access raw materials, develop tools and solutions based on this same development, construct equipment,  and develop printing processes of both small and large scale. The very history of the development of the city- scape allows us a glimpse of the importance of this graphic industry and the way in which it took part in the transformation of the urban landscape.

Atelier NOMADE: in situ lithography attempts to bridge the gap between the scientific and the techno- logical, analyzing the use of portable equipment, as well as the need to respect native and local resources, suggesting pathways throughout the city that reveal the importance of lithography’s graphic industry. The starting point will be FBAUP’s printmaking workshop, where we will discuss lithography’s artistic relevance and intimate relationship with artisanal processes. At this stage, we will reaffirm the need to produce artwork within the printmaking workshop based on what we call technological archaeology, in addition to confronting this method’s relevance in the study of Fine Arts, giving special importance to its use of instruments, matrixes, and protocols. We will demonstrate how, for example, making use of equipment that has been unused for decades, or perhaps just the mere act of observing the gestures of preparatory tasks, can be relevant within a learning environment and give historical context to its inherent graphic heritage. The next stage of the program will be dedicated to discussing lithography on a national and international scale, additionally discussing its relationship with geology as well as its presence on specific buildings found around the city that to this day reveal the part it played in the transformation of the city as a whole. We intend to create a sort of experimental “mobile laboratory” that will function until we physically reach the nomadic studio that will be set up in the Marques da Silva Foundation, itself an archive dedicated to the city’s architectural and artistic legacy, where we will finally test our ability to adapt and to question how lithography can be rebuilt today.

The program is comprised of a week-long intensive workshop designed to construct the necessary materials for the in situ method, to strengthen the collaborative process in artistic investigation, to allow for the use of an interdisciplinary approach in research, to deconstruct preconceived ideas related to the use of different technologies in art and, finally, to question the idea of space, of archive and the city. We designed this intensive model so it would combine these different components seamlessly, taking shape in short-term mobility exercises around the city, consulting historical archives, drawing and printing, setting up the resulting exhibition, and, finally, discussing the results to promote innovative methods of teaching and learning the art of lithography.

Beyond our interest in practicing lithography in such a way that explores its historical and technical legacy in contexts both local and global, the Atelier NOMADE brings together geology, geography, architecture, illustration,  and design as its main areas of research and image production. We’ve found that these areas have a deep-rooted connection with lithography, the latter having played significant roles in different points of these disciplines’ history.


Geology plays a crucial part in providing us with informed notions about the physical formation of the city.


We see urban geography as a dynamic background that molds human environments. Through specific case studies, the participants will examine how geography influences the distribution of urban spaces, connecting the exercises planned for the workshop with the city's physicality.


Architecture is like a narrative that molds the very identity of the city. Through practical exercises and case studies, the participants will explore how buildings and urban structures reflect the historical evolution and cultural influences that contribute to the unique aesthetic of a place.


Illustration and design establish the importance of artistic expression in understanding and representing the city and its multiple narratives. We will use lithography to capture the visual essence of the city and its multiple cultural and historical layers. We will explore these narrative possibilities by drawing as we move through the city and by analyzing editorial artifacts from the 19th century, contemporaneous with the development of lithography and chromolithography in our local and national context. Contact with this printed material reinforces lithography’s part in the democratization of publications and editorials, demonstrating how its use allowed for the creation of layouts in which text and image work in tandem to communicate political, commercial, and ideological content or even entertainment. We will explore the development of this graphical, reproductive, and distributive potential of printed material by analyzing newspapers and bulletins produced by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro and Sebastião Sanhudo (1851-1901), founder of Litografia Portuguesa, a great contributor to the cultural sphere in Porto, as well as a renowned illustrator.


To summarize, Atelier NOMADE: in situ lithography will attempt to provide an enriching and collaborative work week to be experienced in different places and contexts, bringing together different areas of interest that on paper might seem distant, all to create a holistic comprehension of the city of Porto through the use of lithography.

Wednesday the 31st 01/24 

Thursday the 1st 02/24

Litography in situ. During the Nomade Time participants will work in 4 teams

Litografia Portuguesa

From Jurassic to Lithography
(with José Manuel Brandão 

Paper station
(with Graciela Machado

The exhibition Voices of the Landscape is part of the research project "El paisaje que habla", which aims to promote multidisciplinary studies about the territory in universities from Mexico, Portugal, and Spain.  Following the model of the Kunstkammer, the exhibition includes scientific, artistic, and hybrid artifacts in one single space allowing for multicultural and interdisciplinary exchanges around the idea of the landscape.

Co- Organized:

Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto – Museu e Gabinete de Exposições
Universitat de les Illes Balears
Universidad de Granada
Universidade de Guanajuato

The relationship between lithography, illustration and design is a shared history, whose past and transversality we intend to present in this session. The lithographic technique expanded narrative possibilities that allowed the culmination of the printing of image and text at the same time as well as the graphic fusion between text and illustration, made possible by the technology of drawing on stone. We will work on this technological advance in illustration and design through the analysis of 19th century editorial artefacts contemporary with the development of lithography and chromolithography in the local and national context. Contact with this printed material reinforces the role of lithography in the democratization of editing and publishing, just as the narrative and graphic possibilities allowed the creation of layouts in which text and image are combined for the function of communicating, both messages with political content, commercial, ideological or mere entertainment. This graphic innovation, reproduction and dissemination of printed material will be explored through contact with newspapers and bulletins carried out by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1946-1905), complemented with special attention to Sebastião Sanhudo (1851 – 1901), caricaturist and founder of Litografia Portuguesa for his contribution to the city of Porto to the culture and practice of illustration.

Stone paper postcards

(Marta's group)

Visit to exhibition "Voices of Landscape " (with Pedro Maia)

In the early approaches in printing from stone, there were different techniques in use. The etched or the engraved manner in litho-graphy are distinct to the planographic printing, or the elevated method as Senefelder himself distinguished. More similar to copper plate intaglio, these techniques were typically applied on what was considered high-quality prints, such as maps or architectural plans.
This was because such techniques maintained the fine and delicate lines typically seen in intaglio printing. Generally speaking, we can say the "engraving manner" eased a transition to the aplication of lithography in industrial print, in a period where there was a conservative preference for copper plate printing.

In following decades, lithography persisted for practical and economic reasons. 
“Etching in lithography” follows a similar protocol to intaglio, by applying a ground on stone, and to pierce the fine coat with a needle or a burin to make the drawing. Later, the stone is etched with it nitric acid just like a metal matrix. Printing from stone in this variant entails a familiar procedure of printing in lithography, manipulating water and ink, and running the stone through the printing press.  



Printing Station

(with PPA)

Making “stone paper” is as simple as choosing a recipe, cooking the ingredients and applying them to the desired paper or cardboard. Due to the linseed oil and its ability to dissolve the fat content, once absorbed and dried, it is possible to print from the stone papers as the white part repels the ink after etching.

Prepared surface papers in this way take about four months to mature, i.e. to absorb the oil, dry and become a substitute for lime stone.


Visit to FIMS: 

Layers: crossing the borders of visibility

(with Paula Abrunhosa)

Layers: crossing the borders of visibility Visiting the spaces where the headquarters of the Marques da Silva Foundation are located involves engaging with a unique space, shaped by the architectural memory of the houses, their relationship with the city, and the history of their inhabitants. It also reflects the challenge of transforming its original domesticity into a place for an institution designed to house architectural archives, notably those of José Marques da Silva and his daughter and son-in-law, who were also architects. Born under the auspices of the University of Porto, it combines the primary function of being an archive with the mission of promoting research and disseminating the preserved collections, numbering around 40. As a project under construction and in constant expansion, it intertwines times, identities, and geographies, whose meanings and relationships go far beyond what is visible at first glance

The History and the Map collection
of BMP 
(with João Garcia 

Ink station
(with Marta Bełkot)

The preparation of lithographic inks and crayons is based on the recipes of the old masters. Certain methods are used that are no longer in common use, such as putting the unfinished ink in the fire until half of it disappears (due to the fact that some fatty substances, such as animal fat; mutton tallow, do not mix with shellac in any other way). A high content of yellow beeswax gives the ink and chalk the ability to with- stand the action of acid, white or Marseille soap, allow the image to be washed off the stone during processing.
As there are no recipes for white inks in old lithographic books, we have adapted some by replacing the black pigment with white. Moulding the crayons into a metal tube or tetra pack allows producing them in desired shape.

Stone station 
(with Catarina Marques da Cruz)

The invention of lithography by Alois Senefelder (1771-1834) at the end of the 18th century brought new uses to the limestone exploited in some of Bavaria's quarries: a medium for artistic creation. Formed in lagoon environments with calm, hypersaline and anoxic waters at around 150 M.y. (Upper Jurassic), these limestones are compact, shock-resistant and characterised by their light grey or yellowish colours and low porosity. The slow sedimentation justifies the very fine grain (1/250 mm), which provides great surface regularity when polished, as well as the regularity of the strata, in tabular decimetric benches, which facilitate extraction in slabs of varying sizes.

The most important European lithographic limestone deposit is undoubtedly Solnhofen (Bavaria), from which thousands of slabs have been shipped all over the world; however, the high commercial price of these stones was an incentive for other countries to look for limestones with similar characte- ristics, namely in Portugal. It was in this context that some small deposits of Jurassic-age limestone were discovered and exploited during the 19th century ‒ some of which were exhibited at the Crystal Palace Exhibition, London 1851 ‒, making it possible to supply some workshops.

Oporto in history and buildings by

Marques da Silva  (with Gonçalo Furtado )

When we make our own tools, such as tailor´s inks and papers, we accept a certain risk of unpredictability. If we follow the recipes of the old masters, we can expect a certain result as described in the manuals, but we may still find many obstacles to making it or using it correctly. We have found that some of the ink recipes were simply impossible to execute, probably due to patent disputes between lithography masters.

Stone paper - "papyrography"  Senefelder believed - would become “the most important and blessed invention of his time, enabling people to build their own stones and work anywhere in the world”. To protect his stone-paper invention, Senefelder included the recipes in a patent that was extremely difficult to enforce, or perhaps not sufficiently researched. Still the stone-paper matrix, though fragile, is extremely attractive, resembling the movement of the brush, the yellowing of the linseed oil mimicking the passage of time through months of curing.
In our "nomadic time&" we will use Senefelder cured stone paper and custom-made lithographic drawing instruments to create a postcard from Porto. Throughout history, postcards have been a democratic tool for making communication accessible and inclusive.
Inexpensive and portable, they combined politics and poetics, transforming the creative process into a collaborative endeavor. Postcards therefore reflected what was really happening at the time. This truthfulness and their ephemeral or intimate nature is the fuel we use to set in motion a physical message, a record of memory.
Walking through the streets of Porto, where the great lithographic companies once were but no longer are, we will leave a trace of present reflected on the matrix. These activities would help to illustrate the function of time and memory, which, like stone paper, sometimes fails us, is fragile, heals with time, takes on meaning where it shouldn't, and washes away.

"urban sketching" lithography

(David's group)

Participants will be drawing at the street Dr. Alves da Veiga, formely "Rua das Malmerendas" in the 19th century Porto.

Litografia Nacional had its established facilities in this very street. Remarkably, and even though the company no longer exists, the building's facade has been preserved. Symbols specific to printmaking, such as the big medallion with the faces of Guttenberg and Senefelder can be spotted from the ground. The activity will center around what is left to see of this building.

In a manner close to how comunities around the world take part of urban sketching, participants will be provided with samples of different kinds of stones, and will be drawing live, on location, registering what they see from direct observation. 

There will be freedom of choice on how to draw on the stones, while experimenting with the different crayons and inks produced by Marta Belkot. The engraved manner of lithography, which was in used during the 19th century to print cartography, will also take part of this exercise.

The drawings produced on stone will later be edited by the Pure Print Archeology group at FIMS. Even though, the intention lies on having prints made from the stones, those will also be treated as potential exhibitional works of art and of research. 

We predict that these drawing will tell a story about the current surroundings of the streets of Oporto, but also will be able to project the past in an ambigious way. In sum, this activity is hopping to provide an opportunity to experience the city through the practice of lithography in different dimensions of time.

Translating the landscape

(Artur's group)

During this excursion, the group is going to explore the landscape surrounding the area where Litografia Portuguesa a vapor de Mendonça & Sanhudo was first located. Nothing of that time remains, with even the street, then called “Rua do Laranjal”, being totally demolished in 1912 to make way for the construction of Avenida dos Aliados, this monumental avenue that was supposed to open new paths for the development and expansion of the city. Not having a concrete memory of the space remaining, we will have to look at the “new” city in search of lost images.

This specific activity will have as a starting point the idea of translation between us and the other, coming from the field of anthropology, and the misunderstanding that is natural to it. Instead of directly drawing in situ, going out with prepared papers and inks to draw what we see, the proposal is to work mainly in indirect ways, using primarily frottage, but also photography and decals, to capture and transport between supports the textures, shapes and details of this changed landscape, making use of repetition and copy to create new images from the old city. The idea is that each new graphical translation that takes us away from the original landscape will bring us further into a field of misunderstanding, where the image has a chance to grow and develop itself. We invite the participants to go out in this no longer existent territory, and ever-changing actual space, and try to see the graphical possibilities that lay in wait of discovery.

The drawings produced will be later edited by the Pure Print Archeology group in preparation of the exhibition. Our interest with this exercise is to try and see what images are waiting at (and outside) the borders of the landscape, and how we can translate them into our own worlds.

Drawing station
(with David Lopes)

Lithography and Repair 
(with Antonio Regis da Silva 

Manually operated lithographic presses have undergone a few changes throughout

history, harking back to the proposals of Senefelder. The press belonging to FBAUP, based on a model similar to the French lithographic press, possesses unique properties and characteristics due to its construction and composition in metal (iron and bronze), with leather belts and essential components rooted in wood, such as the missing roller and wooden wheel. The model is particularly well-suited for printing large-format stones.  The identification seal of the company embedded in the lithographic press, kept in reserve at the entrance of the Technology Pavilion of FBAUP allowed us to track and obtain images of original company location currently an abandoned ground. Since its entry into FBAUP, presumably through a donation from Amândio Silva, the lithographic press has no usage history. Replacement parts were created to make it operational again, such as the star wheel, and some adaptations were made concerning the French lithographic press, well known as brand Voirin from Cooperativa Árvore.

For the production of missing elements and accessories, such as the arms of the star wheel, wood obtained from the fallen trees in the FBAUP garden was used.

The original belt had to be restored. For this repair, the belt was placed in a container and immersed in milk for 48 hours. Once dried, it was covered with petroleum jelly paste and repaired by a leather specialist, reinforcing the manually stitched broken parts.

The central disk of the wheel was produced by a turner equipped with the necessary equipment for some of the components of this piece, such as the disks. In this case, the same dimensions as the reference press were followed, although adaptations were made based on the suggestions of the technicians from the wood and metal workshops at FBAUP.

The press was heavily rusted, leading to the application of a coating of used motor oil, contributing to its current black and oily finish. This process also served to lubricate its key parts. This step took about a week, with multiple applications and careful attention to ensure that smaller parts and joints were adequately soaked, ensuring the absorption of the oil.


Is it possible to use other stones beyond limestone in order to be able to reproduce an image using lithography technique? YES! We tested quite a few other local stones with different origins and compositions and we were able to successfully print from them, also quite a few times! And we also found out that instead of using traditional and toxic etchants, such as nitric and phosphoric, it is possible to etch stone with the vulgar use of lemon juice. And that’s not all! Because we were locked down due to COVID-19 we tested manual printing, with the help of a spoon and it was also possible to achieve quite a good print from it. Isn’t lithography inspiring? Come and feel it!

In this brief lecture, we delve into the historical aspects of the city of Porto, the education at the Porto School, and the work of José Marques da Silva (1869-1947). In a concise introduction, we reference an article (co-authored with Ricardo Martins) that encompasses the development of the Fernandino urban core, the urban foundation of the 21st century, and the transition to the current 21st century.
In the first part, we establish the connection between the city's development and that of the Porto School: the "aulas de debuxo" (1779-1803), the separation between academy and school (1833-1908), the establishment of the Polytechnic Academy (1881), as well as the Urban Improvement Plans (1784, 1877).
In the 19th century, following the establishment of the Portuguese Republic (1911) and the University of Porto (1911), urban drawings and plans emerged (1913, 1915-1916, 1932, 1938-40). In terms of artistic education, a new reform stands out (1931), along with creating the 'Porto School of Fine Arts.' This coincides with Marques da Silva's leadership (1913-1939). A graduate of Paris in 1896, he was a notable draftsman and introduced new techniques and programs, being responsible for assimilating the "beaux-arts" system into the Porto School. A careful selection of 11 examples will illustrate his extensive work.

In this exercise we’ll take the participants out to Rua Santa Catarina, formerly prolonged in length by the now defunct Rua Bella da Princesa. Litographia Ribeiro, the first known lithography practice in Porto, probably founded around 1833, having opened during the Liberal Wars, had its facilities headquartered in this street, specifically the number 121. Due to the extensive public work done to these streets, all the numbers and houses have been jumbled and we weren’t able to identify with absolute certainty the location of the original building, and as such we only have a vague indication of where its skeleton might be located. This specific activity, centered on the use of transfer papers and stone papers, as well as Marta Belkot’s lithography inks and handmade bamboo shoot pens, will make use of these materials to help us understand the transformation of this street, and the ever-changing nature of cities and their landscape. We will invite the participants to observe the layout and the structure of the buildings and try to translate former structures into current façades, making a sort of collage and overlay of all of these elements.

The drawings produced by the participants on these papers will later be selected and worked on by the research group, they might be printed or not, and will be exhibited as artworks and examples of research-based material as artwork. Our purpose with this exercise is to try to evoke the past in the present, to try to translate the possibilities of what used to be, and of which only vague traces remain, and bring it into the present.

transfering the streets to paper

(Flor's group)

Connecting the two previous stations, "Printing with PPA" will provide participants at Atelier Nomade with the opportunity to witness the reactivation of the antique lithograph press. This press has been stationed on the lower floor and atrium of the Pavilhão de Tecnologias for the past several years.

Recovered as part of the research conducted by Ph.D. candidate Antonio Regis da Silva (2022.11886.BD), the lithograph press will be used to print the map of the city of Porto, within the research scope developed by Ph.D. candidate David Lopes (2020.09546.BD), of the printing techniques used in 19th-century map-printing.

During this activity, participants will receive copies of the map depicting the city of Porto, previously drawn by participants themselves,  featuring markings indicating the working locations of Atelier Nomade. The map will highlight the streets that housed the first printing houses and lithography workshops in 19th-century Porto. 


The Porto Public Library (BMP) was founded in 1833, after the establishment of the Liberal Regime in Portugal. Its initial heritage was based on the libraries of defunct catholic religious institutes(Benedictines, Franciscans, Dominicans) and also on private libraries, lost to members of the nobility or clergy, related to the Old Regime, in the North of Portugal. The BMP gathers a notable collection of bibliographic titles, including manuscripts, incunabula and rare prints, specially of maps and prints.
Installed since 1842 in the building of the former Franciscan Convent of Santo António da Cidade, it later became the Municipal Library and, like some other important Portuguese libraries, recipient of all works published in Portugal, not only monographs and periodicals but also musical works, illustrated posters and postcards. The Municipal Public Library of Porto is one of the city's main institutions and, since 2013, has had a document classified by Unesco in the "Register of the Memory of the World": the Diary of Vasco da Gama's first trip to India (1497-1499 ).

Lithography and Portuguese Illustration 
(with Julio Dolbeth and Rui Vitorino Santos

Villa Nova


Litografia Nacional

Video by Rafaela Lima