Not only a complex Portuguese artist, but also a prolific writer, poet, actor, dancer and choreographer, he was a creative through and through. In writing, José de Almada Negreiros identified with Futurism and Dadaism, seeking to present the absurdity of life. In painting, he was just as modern, but more of a Realist. You can see the influences of Cubism in his portraits and human representations, like in the charcoal drawing The Nap.
Two lovers are lying down comfortably, the woman reclined on the man’s back, both asleep or just about to drift off. Almada’s use of sinuous lines achieves several effects. For starters, it enhances the sensuality of the lovers’ flesh, accentuating their shapely physiques. Their bodies appear softer as a result, suggesting peaceful contentment, a deep satisfaction and the warm coziness of their intimacy and love. Last but not least, their very round faces and arms may indicate youthful innocence.
Although the man is completely naked and the woman is wearing a diaphanous, strapless top that reveals her breasts, most of the sensuality of the drawing stems from the undulating lines and the way their bodies overlap. With her flustered face, the head pushed back and her lips half-open, the woman looks completely enraptured in rest and sultriness. While not a completely accurate representation of the couple, the drawing offers a warm, candid view of the lovers and leaves it up to us to imagine the narrative behind this tender scene and the couple’s relationship.
Bonus soundtrack: Alberto Iglesias – Me Voy a Morir de Tanto Amor | I am going to die of so much love