Julião Sarmento will unveil his sculpture Two Gemini on December 2nd in a public dedication ceremony in Matosinhos, Portugal. The sculpture was commissioned to commemorate Manuel da Silva Passos and José da Silva Passos, two brothers who made an indelible mark on Portuguese politics in the 19th century.
Manuel da Silva Passos, who served as the Prime Minister from September 1836 to June 1837, made his mark on the political system by launching of the foundation of the public education system, prompting the creation of the Academy of Fine Arts, appointing Almeida Garrett, which lead to the creation of the National Theatre of Lisbon, as well as the creation of medical and surgical schools in Porto and Lisbon. His brother, José da Silva Passos, is often considered the hidden genius behind many of these measures and served as the first mayor of Porto, as well as the Undersecretary of Finance.
Sarmento's sculpture Two Gemini captures the pioneering spirit of these two radical democratic leaders. As noted by the Mayor of Matosinhos: "Conscious of the risks inherent in Passos Manuel and José da Silva Paços with the installation of a sculpture in the public square, the Municipality of Matosinhos chose to hand over the task to one of the most respected Portuguese plastic artists of the present time. By uniting the genius and creativity of Julião Sarmento to the civic, ethical and cultural inspiration of the brothers Passos, we believe we have gathered the conditions for the emergence of a work of art - an icon that, seen from the future, will allow us to remember and judge."