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The explorations, Park subway

This subway station is dedicated to the 3 centuries of Portuguese explorations around the world juxtaposed to Human Rights

24 November 2020
Year :
Location :
Park Subway, Lisbon

The artwork at Parque Station is the largest work created by the artist Françoise Schein and the Inscrire Association.

It was commissioned by the Metropolitano of Lisbon in 1992, and it was an ode to the Portuguese maritime exploration until the 16th century. It is a collection of 50 cartographies that tells this journey combined with Human Rights. A combination of contradictions and ethical issues.

These monumental maps cover the large 20m diameter vault, which is covered with 14x14cm azulejos, all hand-painted by the artist, craftsmen, and artisans.

For a year we lived together at the Viuva Lamego factory near Lisbon. Living and creating with craftsmen has a decisive influence on the artist’s work, who will then share her work with others.

Based on the historian Daniel Boorstin’s book, Françoise follows the navigators’ journeys around the world to transform them into art.

Together with the philosopher Ramona Naddaff, she tells the story of the origin of democracy in Greece. With the philosopher José Gil, she fills the immense vault with philosophical references. Some phrases echo the music of a lost lover, that of the contemporary French composer Pascal Dusapin.

With the help of chemical engineers from the Viuva Lamego factory, F. Schein created a palette of 16 shades of blue and green to immerse the subway station in the world’s waters.

Like so many sea creatures, 200 small hieroglyphic serigraphic drawings are reproduced throughout the artworks, forming a rich and baroque ensemble, similar to the Manuelian style also found in the columns designed by the artist Federica Matta.

A large gallery of maps, moving lines, images full of meaning, historical texts, philosophical references, poetic and literary quotations, which embrace the subway passenger and take him or her to a poetic and blue universe, where the hands of each participant feel like so many souls taking him or her on a faraway journey.

This “Cathedral Work” will mark the beginning of Inscrire’s international work in Brazil and the world.


Françoise Schein, artist
Federica Matta, guest artist
Carole Fontaine, assistant
Jacques Vansteenkiste, engineer
Daniel Boorstin, historian
David Morão, historian
José Gil, philosopher
Ramona Naddaff, philosopher
Jorge Sanchez, architect


Viúva Lamego, factory of azulejos
Rugo, azulejos workshop
Soconstroi, manufacturer
STIB, Brussels Metro
José Manuel Consiglieri Pedroso, President of the Metro


Metropolitano de Lisboa