A Brief Introduction to Andre Saraiva's Urban Mural in São Vicente de Fora

André Saraiva's urban mural in São Vicente de Fora © Nina Santos
André Saraiva's urban mural in São Vicente de Fora © Nina Santos
Everything about Lisbon is bright and colorful, from the houses that crawl up the Colinas de São Jorge and São Vicente near Alfama to the historic trams and the eclectic street art. One of the most impressive forms of artistic expression must be the urban mural in São Vicente de Fora. A work of art by André Saraiva, it was completed in October 2016 and is the largest piece of street art in the city, made up of 52,738 small, hand-painted azulejo tiles.

Comprising 188 meters in length and 1011 square meters in area, the mural is an impressive and playful sight to behold, showing that André Saraiva must have had his work cut out for him over the last two years. The project, commissioned by the Lisbon City Council and MUDE (Design and Fashion Museum), highlights Saraiva’s personal experiences with a whimsical touch. Through images such as the 18th-century Águas Livres Aqueduct, the Eiffel Tower, and New York City skyscrapers, you get a glimpse of André Saraiva’s personal life and travels.

Showing the Eiffel Tower in the urban mural © Nina Santos

With Portuguese parents, André Saraiva is a Swedish artist who began his career designing graffiti during his adolescent life in Paris. The French capital is where he also began his alias Mr A, the name of his signature stick figure that’s painted across various city blocks.

Mr. A dances around one end of the urban mural © Nina Santos

The mural in São Vicente de Fora extends down the road around the Jardim Botto Machado, near the National Pantheon and the location of the Feira da Ladra.

Passersby enjoy looking at the mural while walking through the Feira da Ladra © Nina Santos

As a product of MUDE, which can be found in the famous Rua Augusta, the mural embodies the museum’s mission, bringing yet another cultural experience to the Portuguese community. The azulejos and depictions of Portuguese landmarks and history help blend traditional Portugal with modern touches in one of Lisbon’s busiest neighborhoods; it’s in a prime location to be enjoyed.

MUDE helped commission the mural © Nina Santos