This prize represents yet another example of the Rothschild Family's support and encouragement to the Arts and artists, within a long tradition of artistic patronage. Ariane de Rothschild agreed to associate her name to this prize, as a clear message of her belief in the vitality of Portuguese talent and so as to endow the prize with a charismatic face, personality and presence. The Rothschild Family has always nurtured the belief that its personal involvement in such initiatives not only made the family members emotionally richer, but also imbued them with authenticity in the objective, triggered in all those involved, to attain the magical goal of greater transcendence, either in the Arts, Sciences or the simple mission of serving one's fellow citizen.

This second edition of the Ariane de Rothschild Prize is accompanied by an exhibition of 30 selected works whose heterogeneous character reveals a wide array of artistic tendencies. Overall, the works range from abstraction to the synthetic representation of architecture, the digital world and also encompass "hardcore" figuration.

A wide array of techniques and methods have been used, ranging from drawing on photographs, oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, oil on printed paintings, landscapes on aluminium, and even the very survival of painting via photographic prints, as Ceho Martins ironically commented in relation to Carla Cabanas' work. It is now plain to see why the divulgation of this event was accompanied by the question, "What are the limits of Painting?".

The response is provided in this exhibition, which demonstrates a framework of multiple interpretations, both in form and expression, wherein the only limit is the artist himself.

And it is in the artist's name that we are assembled here today - to pay homage to his work and express our recognition for his talent. Very special thanks are due to the high number of artists that took part in this competition, to the project co-ordinator, Filipa Oliveira, for her enthusiasm and tireless effort over recent months, to the Municipal Council that allowed us to use this wonderhll heritage building - the seventeenth century Tavora-Galveas Palace - and to all members of the jury and the committee of honour.

Thank you.

José Luis de Vasconcelos e Sousa

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