Set in the hills just outside Paderne, in the beautiful countryside north of Albufeira, those in search of the striking artworks on display at Côrte-Real would usually have to set aside a whole morning or afternoon to fully enjoy this picture-perfect gallery. But thanks to one local estate agent, a sample of the gallery’s eclectic collection can be seen right here in Carvoeiro. At Fine & Country Carvoeiro, one floor of the office is dedicated to the Côrte-Real Pop-Up Gallery, with a selection of paintings and sculptures from the gallery’s collection of different artists. Planned to run initially for the whole of 2015, Fine & Country decided to invite Côrte-Real to take over the space following the success of various art exhibitions held at the office since its opening in 2013. “Initially the shows were restricted to one artist, but we soon realised that a more varied approach would be of more interest to our clients and to people who visit just to view the works,” said Zoie Hawker, managing partner of Fine & Country Carvoeiro.

While the pop-up gallery provides a taste of the essence of Côrte-Real, nothing comes close to seeing this prominent gallery in person. In a setting nothing short of idyllic, the Côrte-Real gallery was established in 2003 by partners Pedro Côrte-Real and Michael Roberts in a traditional Portuguese farmhouse that was beautifully renovated to house a collection of unique pieces of art. Dubbed by Portuguese Vogue as “a very special place” and often described as like walking into a painting, the gallery is a treat for the senses, with six bright, sunny rooms dotted with a mix of artwork, from beautiful paintings created by prestigious artists to pottery, ceramics, lighting, tapestry and other decorative items. Even postcards, soaps and a range of traditional Portuguese products (such as olive oil and sardines), all in their vintage packaging, help to add a very special charm to this unique space. Michael and Pedro travel extensively in search of something a bit different for their little piece of paradise.

Exhibitions change regularly, and with many resident artists from all over the world, established painters join an eclectic mix of artists, where special focus is given to handcrafted pieces created by small independent artisans. “With so many galleries, visitors go in and they are intimidated by the silence and the austerity of it, and we’ve created a home that is full of joyous, lovely objects, wonderful paintings and lots of colour,” says Michael, an artist himself who mostly paints Algarvean landscapes, which he signs as Tom Compton, whilst Pedro Côrte-Real paints captivating scenes of Africa inspired by his Mozambique roots. More than a gallery, this is a place to enjoy at your own pace and while away the time; an escape, almost. Outside, a pretty terrace allows visitors to sit under the shade of a tree, with a complimentary cup of tea or coffee and delicious homemade biscuits, and admire various pieces dotted around the colourful gardens, which set off the seating area beautifully. “It’s unique, I simply can’t explain it,” admits Michael. “Its location far from the madding crowds, full of handmade arts and crafts, the quality of paintings… And it doesn’t have that hideous pretentiousness that art seems to have. It’s a joyous place.”

The Côrte-Real Pop-Up Gallery can be visited from Monday to Friday between 9.30am and 5.30pm. The Côrte-Real gallery is open from Thursday to Sunday, from 11am to 5pm.

Author: Inside Carvoeiro

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