George Smirnoff

While you are at Café Bela Vista, we hope you might take a moment to look at the watercolour paintings along the walls of our café. Russian architect and artist George Smirnoff captured many of Macau’s buildings and streetscapes while he resided here in the 1940s. The legendary Bela Vista was a refuge for him and his family during the war, and was Smirnoff’s first home in Macau.

Symbolically today, reproductions of his beautiful watercolour paintings are now at “home” on display at Café Bela Vista. He was commissioned by Dr. Pedro Jose Lobo, a great benefactor of the arts at the time to paint the tranquility of the city, the churches, fortresses, seascapes and street scenes. Smirnoff was able to recreate a remarkable likeness of what he saw on the streets and he would sketch and colour everything from memory. His daughter, Irina Smirnoff says her father’s life in Macau was very special, as that was a time when he was truly at peace.