Fátima through the eyes of… Eduardo Bajzek
Eduardo Bajzek has been in Portugal twice before. The first time he came with his parents to get to know the birthplace of his grandparents, a village in the municipality of Penalva do Castelo, near Viseu, and he took the chance to travel around the country.
The second time, he came to an international symposium of Urban Sketchers and that was when he drew and recorded Lisbon and some Portuguese monuments that particularly impressed him.
He looked forward to going to Fátima for the Centenary celebrations with keen anticipation. He experienced it all with a mixture of anxiety and a little apprehension because he would have to draw in the middle of a crowd, but also with joy and enthusiasm, as you can see in his drawings.
Sanctuary of Fátima
1st drawing done in Fátima, which was suddenly interrupted by a heavy downpour
Centenary of the Apparitions | Fátima. Thursday. 11 May.”
Fátima, Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary
“Sheltered by the architecture of the Sanctuary, Fernanda Lamelas, Rob Sketcherman and I were calmly drawing, now dry after the downpour that hit us a little earlier. And the sun even made the crown of Mary on the top of the tower shine...”
Basílica of Our Lady of the Rosary
“Regina Sacratissimi Rosarii Fatimae ora pro nobis”
“Rob and I found this covered nook to try and produce a little more. It was cold, it rained and it was very windy. I was surprised to learn that the ladies who were there would actually spend the night there, too! Amazing, people’s enthusiasm. One couple even came to have a look at the conditions in the site. But they gave up. The floor was wet... We had a hotel to stay in and a nice bed for us to get ready for the next day.”
Fátima, Tower of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary
“The Tower of the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary dominated the landscape of Fátima. At 65 metres high, it stands on the highest point of the town, so it’s easy to see. The area behind the Sanctuary looks rather bucolic. Even with so many people, I did this drawing quite calmly. The weather was starting to show signs of improvement.”
“Waiting for the Pope
An extra dose of courage to sit alone in the mist of the multitude... I didn’t realise that I was drawing the Portuguese flag upside down...”
John Paul II (1982, 1991 and 2000)
Those were the years when Pope John Paul II was in Fátima. After I finished this sketch, two girls came up to me... They were Polish. They asked questions and took some pictures with me. I enjoyed the kindness.
At the base of the statue that honours Pope John Paul II, there are lots of flowers placed there by his followers and devotees. He was a much-loved Pope (Anna, my grandmother, adored him!). And Pope Francisco is also greatly loved. I couldn’t help but notice this girl in a turquoise blue shawl and lovely arrangement with a flower and white fabric. She was a bit unsettled when she saw me, but she was happy when I showed her the picture.”
Basilica of the Most Holy Trinity
“Moment of introspection and silence... I was impressed by the size of the compound and the concrete structure that extends for 80 metres housing 8,600 pilgrims... A Brazilian priest was saying mass... 13.05.2017"
“A hamlet near Fátima, where the three shepherd children lived.
Ruins of a nineteenth-century house, one of my favourite subjects...
Eduardo Bajzek has a degree in architecture and has worked for 20 years as an illustrator. He received an award from the American Society of Architectural Illustrators, and has led design workshops in international symposiums of Urban Sketching in Santo Domingo in 2012 and in Barcelona in 2013. He was one of the founders of the Urban Sketchers of Brazil and one of the organisers of the 5th International Symposium, in Paraty (RJ), in 2014. He has taught the Bajzek Course in various institutions since 2011, notably the Mackenzie University, Unifor (Fortaleza) and the Federal University of Brasilia.