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LISBOA, CIDADE TRISTE E ALEGRE by Victor Palla and Costa Martins

90 EUR

Lisboa, Cidade Triste e Alegre’, originally published in 1959, is a symphony about Lisbon of the fifties, showing the city in its different aspects. The “graphic poem”, as Victor Palla and Costa Martins liked to call it, constructs a new city with (photographic and poetic) images, a city in the process of assimilating an international style.

The photos are very modern, grainy, taken in a fast way, choosing spontaneity and instinct to artifact and composition. According to Martin Parr and Gerry Badger, who included this book in "The Photobook: A History, vol.1": 'Lisboa is particularly notable for using many of the book-making ideas developed by William Klein, and Dutch photographers like Ed van der Elsken and Joan van der Keuken, and has a vibrant, cinematic feeling'.

This new edition follows exactly the first edition, including text and poems by Rodrigues Migueis, Alexadre O’Neill, Armindo Rodrigues, David Mourão-Ferreira, Eugénio de Andrade, Jorge de Sena and José Gomes Ferreira.

It also includes a supplement with an introduction by Gerry Badger and a full transcription into English of the book’s index, where the authors explain in detail the making of each image.

Lisboa, Cidade Triste e Alegre
Victor Palla & Costa Martins
Pierre von Kleist editions, 2015
Hardcover / 175 pages / b&w / 27.9 x 22.5 cm
Incl. 52 page supplement with original text by Gerry Badger, "City of the Seven Hills".
ISBN 9789899776395

From the 2015 edition:
As fotos da Lisboa triste e alegre dos ano 50 (Observador). Here
Lisboa tão triste e alegre que o Estado Novo escondia (DN). Here
Lisboa, Cidade Triste e Alegre. Retrato de uma sinfonia urbana dos anos 50 (Jornal i). Here

From the 2009 edition:

Best book of the year for 5B4 by Jeffrey Ladd. Here
Best books of 2009 for Le Monde. Here

Pierre von Kleist Editions is an artist run publisher specialized in photo books. We are committed to the production of new, innovative photo books and we believe the photo book to be a medium capable of expressing complex, abstract, contemporary issues and to reach a wide audience.

We believe that in a multicultural, globalized world the photo book is one of the privileged mediums. The language of sequential images is, perhaps, today’s most international language, understood by the large majority of the world population. Photo books don’t need translation, they need world distribution. Internet provides an efficient, accessible way for books to reach global audiences.

At PVKe we aim to produce books that transcend the documentary quality that is usually associated with the photography medium. We are interested in artistic achievements and in the specific qualities that the medium offers. We want to make books that tell stories and deal with the contemporary way of living.

The photo book is a complex art form that combines photography, graphic design, cinema, literature, etc. Our goal is to push the limits and conventions of the photo book, contributing to establish it as a respected, mature medium.


Pierre von Kleist editions is based in Lisboa, Portugal and is run by André Príncipe and José Pedro Cortes.

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