Caminho de Jacinto

Caminho de Jacinto ©2021 Helder Luís (inkjet printing, 120x90cm)

Photograph of the Jacinto’s path, Tormes, Santa Cruz do Douro. This path taken by Eça de Queirós in 1892, when he visited Tormes for the first time, was decisive as an inspiration for his book “A Cidade e as Serras”.

I decided to base myself on the work of Eça de Queirós, A Cidade e as Serras, to capture an image for an exhibition dedicated to this Portuguese writer, and I immediately realised that I would have to travel to Tormes, the place that inspired the work and, home of the Eça de Queirós Foundation, to do it.
I spent a whole day in Tormes, absorbing the landscape and, accompanying me with a small text adapted from the short story “Civilização” and from the work “A Cidade e as Serra” by Eça de Queirós:

“The soft valleys of greenery, the almost sacred forests, the fragrant orchards in bloom, the freshness of the singing waters, the little chapels whitening on the tops, the mossy rocks, the air of the sweetness of paradise, all the majesty and all the beauty. Letting your gaze drift, observe the powerfully carved valleys (…) the flocks of groves, so full and round of such a young green, and feel, everywhere, the light fluttering of the birds.”

Eça de Queirós

My intention was to experience the path that Eça de Queirós took, when he traveled to Tormes for the first time in 1892, to visit the property inherited by his wife. For this purpose, I decided to take the pedestrian route which, according to the story of the novel A Cidade e as Serras, starts at the train station by the river, extending up the mountain, along nature paths, to the property. First I took the opposite route, descending to the station, which took about an hour. The climb, in turn, took about two hours. On one of the few occasions that I stopped to decide which path to take and take a rest in the shade of a tunnel of vegetation, the image I chose to represent the above-mentioned text appeared at that moment in front of me.
Although the landscape has been irreparably altered by man’s hand, nature still dominates most of the valley and, when we explore its paths, for a moment we are transported to the time when Eça de Queirós walked them. The lush greenery, the sound of running water in the stream, the chirping of birds, the aroma of ripe fruit still in the orchards… all of this is still there, bringing us to a state of union with nature.

Photographed with a high resolution (102MP) digital camera, Fujifilm® GFX100.

Este projeto teve o generoso apoio da Fujifilm Portugal.