Heralded as the greatest 19th-century Portuguese painter, this prolific realist painter was known for his gloomy, intimate style. His work was favorably compared to Wilhelm Leibl and Thomas Eakins.
He was nominated to design the flag of the new Portuguese regime in 1910.
His father was noted romantic painter Manuel Maria Bordalo Pinheiro, and his older brother was the famous caricaturist Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro.
He also studied the works of the Impressionist painter Edouard Manet.