Communications 2016

Alexandre Mascarenhas (IFMG; UFRJ).

The collection of plaster sculptures as part of the development of the teaching in AIBA with the French Mission in 1816.

The collection of sculptured plaster was initially formed, from 1816, to be introduced by the Mission French as an integral part of the development of the teaching of fine arts at Escola Real de Ciências, Artes e Ofícios, renamed in 1826 as Academia Imperial Brasileira de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro.

The city became the capital of the Portuguese kingdom between 1808 and 1822 with the arrival of the court and the clergy who left Portugal because of the Napoleonic invasions. Soon after settling in Brazil , a group of artists representing all fine arts landed in the country and brought with them a collection initially composed by oil on canvas of French and Italian artists who were grouped later the set of original works in marble and significant number of Greco-Roman plaster mouldings. These pieces showed the kind of pedagogical doctrine to be implemented in classic academic teaching.

Documents dated between 1837 and 1860 confirm the acquisition of other lots of architectural, sculptural and ornamental character of plasters to serve as models for students of disciplines as Design or Sculpture. Within this group it emphasizes the sculptural group Laocoon, Gladiator or Victory of Samothrace. In the late nineteenth century, the emperor held a cash donation for the restoration of some mouldings that were quite deteriorated and did not meet more their educational function.

In the early twentieth century works by artists such as Ferdinand Pettrich, Louis Rochet, François Rude, Antonio Teixeira Lopes, Emille Bourdelle and Auguste Rodin as well as the private plasters collection of Marc Ferrez have joined the collection. Noteworthy is also works of Eliseu Visconti, Victor Meirelles, Rodolfo Bernardelli, Honorato Manuel de Lima and Celita Vaccani, plus a set of models and casts in plaster, admission test results and practical exercises produced by teachers and students over the decades.

Thus, the AIBA has accumulated over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, a high number of pieces of artistic and history values, which was divided in 1937 between the National Museum of Fine Arts and the School of Fine Arts. However, the creation of the Museu D. João VI, in 1979, on the campus of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro | UFRJ, has expanded access to the researchers, teachers and students.

Currently, this research is still studying the materials used in the casting of mouldings and identify their suppliers – museological institutions or French private agents such as Musées Nationaux de Moulage, École Boulle, École Imperial de Beaux Arts and Musée de Sculpture Compare Palais du Trocadero. Thus, it is intended develop a critical catalog of this collection where observe two pre- established sets , the figurative and decorative, and spread this precious collection.


Amandine Diener (UNSAS – École nationale supérieure d´architecture, Université de Strasbourg).

Brazilian Architecture and the École des Beaux-Arts. The teaching approach of André Gutton.

In these last years, there is a growing interest on cultural exchanges between Brazil and France. This interest is demonstrated by the publication in 2006 of the special issue Brésil-France of the Cahiers de la Recherche, and by an International Conference focused on the artistic transnational education during the XIXth century. Researches are usually focused on the international role played by the École des beaux-arts during the 19th century, when it was at its height. There are many researches about relations between North American and French architectural theory. Conversely, there are few researches about the incorporation of Brazilian architectural production in the teaching programs of the Beaux-Arts.

Is the cultural repertoire of Brazilian Modernity evoked, or even integrated, in the teaching programs of the École des beaux-arts? Are there any iconic buildings taken as model in the academic classes? Which are the means of spread of Brazilian models? In order to answer all these questions, the course of Architectural Theory of Beaux-Arts has been analyzed and more precisely, the approach of André Gutton (1904-2002), head professor of the Architecture Theory chair, since 1949 to 1958. This study is based on a plurality of sources: unpublished archive documents of the Beaux-Arts; the book Conversations sur l’architecture, in which are collected the lectures of Gutton; the annual publications of the concours d’architecture and of the scientific review L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui.

Through all these sources, the influence of Brazilian Modernity on the teaching of Architectural theory in France has been analyzed. A specific attention has been payed to academic themes of courses and contests, to references for architectural and graphic design and to professional networks, especially the relation between Gutton, Pierre Vago (1910-2002) and Rino Lévi (1901-1965), all members of the UIA. This study concerns an historical period when the traditional way of teaching of the Beaux-Arts was called into question by Le Corbusier. Its Brazilian work was quoted by authors who embraced progressive architectural theories.


Anaildo Bernardo Baraçal (MNBA, UNIRIO)

Models and more models in the National Museum – of Fine Arts

Joachim Lebreton (1760-1819) arrived in Brazilian history by his qualities that distinguished him at the court of Napoleon Bonaparte. By his revolutionary commitment, under the Directory, reached the fine arts administration of the newly created Institute of France as its Secretary. This position enabled him to act in the organization and control of the French’s academic education, experience which earned him at the moment of the Brazilian’s school proposal. In his memories, into a pedagogical framework and scope, writes about the need to dispose to the Fine Arts students “a collection of paintings” (BARATA:1959, p.298), providence already taken with an artworks acquisition at Paris, in 1815 (according to documents transcribed by Afonso d’Escragnolle Taunay). For those who would learn to carving, also states the importance of providing plaster models (BARATA: 1959 p.297). In this case, the formation of the collection of models resulted from those brought by Professor Marc Ferrez (1788 – 1850), acquired in 1836 or 1837 and 1840 by the Fine Arts Imperial Academy (finally established in 1826). They were followed by others directly purchased in France (1860-1922), added to others gifted by D. Pedro II, also in charge of some models restoration costs. In the 1940-1960 period were produced plaster castings from  artworks of Antonio Francisco Lisboa, nicknamed Aleijadinho. In the prints field, possibly by the will of Ferdinand Pettrich (1798 – 1872), came to the sculpture class (ACADEMIA: 1846) a printing series related to Thorvaldsen’s sculptures for the Church of Our Lady in Copenhagen (BARAÇAL: 2012).


Ana Maria Tavares Cavalcanti (UFRJ).

From the practice of making replicas to the images of reference in the paintings of Eliseu Visconti

When Eliseu Visconti studied at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts/National School of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro, he made replicas of the artwork of other artists as exercise.  During the period he studied in Europe, after receiving a scholarship in 1892, Visconti was also commissioned to paint replicas. The practice of art reproduction, which was common in the arts education of the nineteenth century, remained in effect in the first decades of the twentieth century.  However, it was criticized by the defenders of modern art. The objective of this paper is to analyze how this teaching method, which was part of Visconti’s apprenticeship, left marks throughout his artistic career, without affecting the creativity or originality of his paintings. In order to render this analysis, we shall examine some of Visconti’s artwork in which one can identify “borrowed elements” or “citations” of old or modern masters. In “Oréadas” (1899), currently part of the Fine Arts Museum collection (MNBA, Rio de Janeiro), Visconti appropriates figures painted by Botticelli in the “Allegory of Spring (1482).  In the decorative paintings Visconti executed for the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, some of the allegories are a re-concoction of the images present in a painting of the Austrian artist Gustav Wertheimer.  Moreover, if we compare Visconti’s easel impressionist paintings, of the 1920’s and 1930’s, to the art production of his contemporary artists in other countries, one can identify similarities in choices of themes, use of palette and texture of brushstrokes. How can one comprehend these similarities, the borrowed elements and citations that one can see in Visconti’s art production? The former reflections on his artwork become more complex in light of his personal writings.  Among other writings, Visconti wrote: “[Artists] no longer create. They limit themselves to combining, more or less successfully, elements created by the great masters, repeating and adapting them [as needed].”  And, in the same tone that sometimes seems critical, other times simply a statement, he continues: “Aesthetics judgment is subjective, as it varies through time. The same theme is repeated century after century. Replicas are made combining previous concepts to create apparently new artistic elements. The subject and the theme may be presented from a fresh perspective, adapting to the time period.” Situated in the transition between the nineteenth and twentieth century, between diverse teaching methods and art production, Eliseu Visconti motivates us to reflect on the challenges artists who studied at the Academy of Fine Arts School faced at that time, and who continued to produce art till the 1940’s.

Angela Boesl (Humboldt University, Berlin)

The acanthus revisited: Moritz Meurer’s (1839-1916) teaching model of plant studies for Prussian schools of applied arts.

The history of the academies of arts in late 19th-century Germany is closely linked with the development of the schools for applied arts and the renewal of their educational system. In my paper, I will focus on the situation in Prussia and present a model of teaching, which was then as widely known as implemented, but seeks attention today: the model of applied botanical studies, which was conceived by the painter and artisan teacher Moritz Meurer (1839-1916). In 1887, he published his concept of formal training, which was based on the methods of analytical drawing and moulding after plants. As an education of the eye and hand, it should help to overcome the historicist methods of copying in order to reactivate the skills of designing autonomously.

Indeed, this recourse to nature was not new. However, the ways and aids to investigate natural form stand out. This is primarily due to Meurer’s instrumentalization of the plant and its tectonic and functional properties as means of investigation, not as motivic samples. The analysis of plants should instead help to discern the principles of organic genesis of form, which then were to be transformed into principles of design. For that purpose, Meurer extended the botanical survey to a comparative study of natural and artistic forms. To implement this dual approach, he developed a specific curriculum which was to be conducted with the help of a collection of teaching aids: It contained drawings, prints, wall charts and publications, showing the anatomy of plants in different stages of growth. In addition, Meurer compiled photographs of plants as well as of earlier adaptions of plants in architecture or ornamentation. Finally, in his atelier in Rome, he got botanical specimen, herbaria, plaster and bronze casts made as well as electroplatings and bronze models of plants.

The aim of presenting this case example is threefold: First, to view these didactic plants as a set, which has fallen behind its plant photographs, that Karl Blossfeldt had taken for Meurer. Moreover, as a methodological input, Meurer’s plant morphology will be depicted as an early system of artisan research. Thereby, the paper not only hopes to contribute to the revision of late 19th-century teaching models – by discussing them as systems of artistic knowledge production. It also seeks to assist in the pursuit of a shared historiography of the academies of fine arts and the schools of arts and crafts, in Europe and on other continents.


Arthur Valle (UFRRJ).

Copies of European paintings made by students of the National School of Fine Arts/Rio de Janeiro during the first decades of the Brazilian Republic

The artistic learning based on copies of artworks made by “old” or “modern masters” is a central aspect of the academic system, stretching back at least to the so-called Renaissance. In European and American art academies, the intimate contact with the artistic tradition established through the practice of copies aimed to reveal to the art student the “rules” of art. These “rules” were related to the technical and material aspects of the artistic practice, as well as to the expressive potential of the visual elements (line, value, color etc.) and composition.

In late 19th-century and early 20th-century Brazilian field of art, characterized by an emphasis on artistic individuality, originality and authenticity, these “rules” of art were understood as essentially dynamic models, available to all kinds of hybridization and resignification. The practice of copies was then understood as a necessary condition for the development of the student’s artistic personality – not as an obstacle to it, as a well-known modernist rhetoric has often affirmed.

In this paper, we will present an overview of the copies of European paintings made by students of the Rio de Janeiro National School of Fine Arts during the first decades of the Brazilian Republic. A special attention will be given to the discussion of this practice during the 1890s, when the Rio de Janeiro School sent its students to diverse European art centers, such as Paris, Rome and Munich. In doing so, we will strive to better perceive the huge diversity of models with which the Brazilian art students came in contact during their sojourns in Europe. Moreover, we believe that – without denying the importance of Paris as a center for the diffusion of art models – the heterogeneity of these copies stresses the necessity of systematic studies that consider beyond the “influence” of French art on Brazilian artistic production of late 19th-century and early 20th-century.


Carolina Vanegas Carrasco (IIPC – Instituto de Investigaciones sobre el Patrimonio Cultura, UNSAM, Argentina).

Bolívar’s image in the configuration of aesthetic and political models in 19th century Colombia

From the formalization of art education in Colombia in 1873 there were a series of advances in order to form a national school of fine arts that finally took place in 1886. Since there is little evidence of activity in those instances, commemorative sculpture and a selection of etchings in the Papel Periódico Ilustrado (1881-1886) are taken as sources for the analysis proposed. It is our purpose to demonstrate the centrality of party political disputes had in this process and specifically how was configured an aesthetic ideal coincident with the conservative ideology synthesized in the idealized image of Bolívar.


Cybele Vidal Neto Fernandes (UFRJ)

Artistic education in the Rio de Janeiro Imperial Academy of Fine Arts: field of production versus field of consecration

The communication aims to analyze the teaching in AIBA, considered in its dual role: as the Government agency (single funder and defining philosophy implemented in the institution) and as a trainer organ artists and hand public work for the Academy itself and Brazil . The analysis will be performed by some closely indicators related to the teaching process underway that institution: the contest for Magisterium, contests for Travel Awards, the Committees for the Selection and Award of Works to be included in the General Exhibitions, the presented programs and voted by the Congregation for the different disciplines. This proposal offers a way to examine the issue through initiatives need to be supported by the very reality of the institution, that is, the analysis of the above indicators marked. The aim is to ascertain the action strategies of the AIBA leaders and their teachers, meet the demands of the regiments, of society, of the program in the course of construction of the nation. We will use the theory of Bourdieu, Pierre (The economy of symbolic exchanges. S. P. Editora Perspectiva, 1992) working the sociological field of art through what he called the market of symbolic goods, with special attention to the sociology of education. Bourdieu believes that the school culture provides individuals with a common body of categories of thought that makes communication possible. Let us consider as actors of this process: students (income, age, minimal training, social status) teachers (admission, training) relations with the European training centers, critical events promoted by the programs of the Academy (General Exhibitions, Industry Exhibition national, other exhibitions promoted in the city).


Dalila Santos e Marina Menezes de Andrade (UFRJ).

The Draw and the formation of the contemporary artists: between models and traditions

  1. João VI Museum, from the School of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), presents a great collection of didactic material to fine arts teaching. The study of the collection of draws, paintings, medals, prints, plaster sculptures, among others, are visual testimonies of the teaching processes adopted by the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts and the Nacional School of Fine Arts. When living its contemporary stage as the School of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro, the small amount of works of art does not offer the same representability in the identification of the practices and processes developed by professors and students.

In this context this communication to the VII Seminário do Museu D. João VI is presented.

Analyzing the formation of the contemporary artist we aimed to show how the different models and traditions presented in the collection could pass through the current methods and developed proposals in the disciplines of Drawing in the School of Fine Arts of the Rio de Janeiro.

In the first moment it will be discussed three different models of teaching: academic, modern and contemporary, having as a support the writings of Thierry de Duve.

We aim to realize, analyze and discuss the questions related to these transitions using examples from the collection of the D. João VI Museum, which mainly covers the two first models. The contemporary stage will be compared to these teaching (or traditions) approaches, highlighting the importance that the collection of the museum handles in the production that has been built in the School, and we hope to see it inserted in the Museum in a near future.

The concepts of model and tradition go through the analysis, promoting models such as the set of standards and rules that conduct the imitation. The collection of D. João VI Museum seems far from the diversity of the contemporary art processes. Thus, it could be proposed to see in the collection different traditions that assemble continuity and breaks. This is a proper field to realize that the contemporaneity does not exclude the manifestations of the past, but instead it enables the movement of looking back and forth, seeing the previous tracings and the expanded fields filled with possibilities and being constructed as we move along this path.

The importance of this communication resides in the registration of the ways that the Museum’s collection and its traditions have been studied and discussed during the drawing classes ministered by the authors in the School of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro. Besides the work of Thierry de Duve, references from the authors Yve-Alain Bois, Georges Didi-Huberman and Aby Warburg will be used.


Danielle Rodrigues Amaro (FFLCH/USP).

A “wide movement of aesthetics education”: the social project registered at the Instituto de Belas Artes, from its creation until its extinction (RJ, 1950-1975)

Created in 1950, June, during the government of general Ângelo Mendes de Moraes (1894-1990), the mayor of the previous Distrito Federal at the time, the Instituto de Belas Artes (IBA), had as purpouse the teaching of visual arts in the city, “having as a goal to promote the popular education, the formation of boards of technical professionals and develop, by spread, the culture in all its aspects, besides educate the interests of those who express worthy artistic vocation” (CORREIO DA MANHÃ, 1950, p.2). Still, it is necessary to point out that, according to researches made until this present moment, it was created in the IBA’s structuration of the first graduation class of History of Art in Brazil, according to the degree nº1.526, from 12 th february, 1963.

The teaching at IBA had as reference the academic teaching, the “Fine Arts” as its own name quotes. However, the educational project of aesthetics education of the Institute had not the single objective of giving the opportunity to acquire technical or professional formations, or to be restricted to artistic education: it was a social project  at the european parameters , that pretended to substitute the experience of the grotesque and torrid for the culture of sobriety, sophistication, lightness, as said the first director of the institution, professor Henrique Sálvio. By making “the study of arts accessible to all people instead of the concept that it is a privilege of those who can study at the Academy”, the creation of Instituto Municipal de Belas Artes and “the culture of Fine Arts” result to Brazil  the “opportunity to enlarge its civilization” (REVISTA DA SEMANA, 1951, p.12).

The subjects that will be treated in this communication proposal are the delicate history of IBA (that was extinguished in 1975, and substituted by Escola de Artes Visuais do Parque Lage), as well as the speech that justified and sustained its existence for 25 years.  As believed that the IBA was not only a product of its time, but equally active agent at the period of its existence, it will be also explored the social project that the institution proposed and its relations with local and national contemporary facts with its period.

The comunication proposal is part of the doctorship research project “The controverse institucionalization of History of Arts in Brazil” (temporary title), in development since 2013, that investigates the formation of the art historian in Brazil from the graduation classes.


Ellery E. Fouthc (Middlebury College, Estados Unidos).

M.J. Heade’s Gems of Brazil: Hummingbirds and the 19th-century International Market for Art & Fashion.

In September 1863, U.S. painter Martin Johnson Heade boarded a steamer bound for Brazil, informing the public that he intended “to paint those winged jewels, the humming-birds, in all their variety of life as found beneath the tropics.” For the next several months, Heade socialized with many wealthy U.S. expatriates in Rio de Janeiro and Petropolis, pursuing patrons for a proposed album of chromolithographs to be titled Gems of Brazil. Heade also sought the support and patronage of notable Brazilians, utilizing his connections to the U.S. Consulate to arrange meetings with Dom Pedro II, and he ultimately convinced the emperor to support the project, dedicating the work to him. Although Heade refused to sell any of his hummingbird paintings in Brazil, he actively participated in both official and unofficial exhibition programs, submitting work to the Exposições Gerais and mounting a show in a shop operated by American businessman Henry Milford on rua dos Ourives, near Rio’s most fashionable shopping district.

With his titles and palette, Heade transformed fast-moving, ephemeral hummingbirds into gemstones, a metaphor that virtually crystallized the creatures into hard, glittering, precious entities rather than the soft, organic, and often-decaying bodies they inhabited. This transformation also echoed popular American perceptions of Brazil and its riches, especially its mines with their wealth of gemstones that were imported to both North America and Europe, removed from their indigenous, natural sources and refined into elaborate gilded settings, foreign to their original contexts. Actual hummingbird heads and bodies were similarly employed in jewelry of the period, their heads mounted in gold settings in a taxidermy substitution for rubies and emeralds—a popularized literalization of Heade’s Gems of Brazil for fashionable ladies of the period, furthering Brazil’s reputation as an exotic land of riches and brilliant flora and fauna.

Heade’s “Gems of Brazil” is a remarkable project of artistic and scientific competition and exchange with metaphors that indicate wider cultural concerns about wealth, violence, preservation, and decay. This project explores the letters and diaries of Heade and his social network in Brazil and beyond, as well as his canny manipulation of the press coverage of his trip to Rio de Janeiro and subsequent work in London, to unpack the rich associations of Brazilian hummingbirds and international prestige in the 1860s.


Fabio D´Almeida Lima Maciel (USP).

A singular case: Pedro Américo’s reception of the reform of the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris in 1863.

In the end of 1863, a French imperial decree substantially reformed the curriculum and the structure of the École des Beaux-Arts of Paris. The Brazilian art student Pedro Américo, who was in the very last months of a five-year Parisian scholarship (1859-1864) directly provided by Emperor Dom Pedro II, decided to publish a text about the changes made in that school. It was entitled “La réforme de l’École des Beaux-Arts et l’opposition” (‘The reform of the École des Beaux-Arts and its opposition’).

This text was the first public manifestation of Américo’s previous interest in a theoretical education, alongside a practical one. It was an interest that had accompanied him since his first years in the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes do Rio de Janeiro (‘Imperial Academy of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro’), and it only grew up in his European years.

The publication of Américo’s pamphlet gave him a singular position in French educational debates in 1863, promptly noted by French critics: he became the only student of the École to publish a text in his own name on the reform; he had manifested his approbation concerning the changes decreed in that institution; and finally, he was curiously a foreigner, that is, he was excluded from the principal horizons drawn by the reform.

In this paper, I would like to discuss the contents and the questions developed in Américo’s text, including his unconditional adhesion to artistic liberty, his defense of the artistic theoretical education and also his thoughts about the importance of what he called (together with another authors) the ‘modern ideal’. I would also like to discuss the reasons that led him to independently publish his pamphlet. From a considerable set of direct and indirect sources about Américo’s student life in Brazil and in Europe, I am interested in exposing some actions he had made in order to announce and prepare his return to Brazil. I would like to show how Américo’s text, far from just being a favorable commentary of French artistic reform (as he had said), was in fact the prognostic of an idealistic theory and a political project for the development of Brazilian arts. These theory and project would be ultimately presented in 1864, right after Américo’s arrival in Brazil, the moment when he began to propose himself as the main agent for a bigger social representation of artistic class.


Fernanda Mendonça Pitta (PhD in History of Art, ECA-USP, Curator at Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Art History Lecturer at Escola da Cidade, São Paulo).

Between National Allegory and Brazilian Type: The hole of The Brazilian Pioneer in the academic project of nation-building.

The Brazilian Pioneer, painting executed in Paris by Almeida Junior, in 1879, can be perceived as a prelude to the series of paintings devoted to the popular character of the countryman that characterizes the painter’s late work. The painting can be understood in many levels – an envoy or a “progress exercise”, a ‘salonnard’ work – but it should be also analyzed as the first response of an artist training abroad to the ongoing local debates on the Brazilian School. The painter wished to contribute with his work to “Brazilian art”, in regard to the problem of representing national types. In the foreground of the canvas, the artist represented the monumental figure of a manual free laborer resting in his working scenario. A countryman, a mixed race or indigenous man (the canvas had alternative titles such as ‘Caboclo’ at Rest, Brazilian Caboclo, Cabloco at work, and The Brazilian Pioneer at Rest), occupies almost all the space in the composition. The figure lies on a rock, close to a stream, resting while smoking a straw cigarette, after accomplishing the task of cleaning the woodland to make room for the expansion of the plantation fields, as inferred by the presence of the glade in the background.

The work was honored with a poem published in the Journal des Arts, and with a mention in Alfred Wolff’s 1880 Salon published in Figaro. Brazilian academics received the work, together with the other paintings produced by the artist in his Paris séjour, apparently without giving notice to the “national contend” of the work, neither positioning themselves in relation to the lascivious and sensuous depiction of a country character, as they did in other occasions when the nude or semi-nude figure was presented in Brazilian art. In the work, it is flagrant the distance taken by the artist in relation to some of previous works by Brazilian painters. The treatment of the national type differs notably from the choices made by Pedro Americo in his first 1863-64 Carioca, or from Victor Meirelles in his 1863 Moema. Instead, Almeida Junior seems to be connecting his work with previous images of the clearing of the woodland such as the ones created by travel artists as Johann Moritz Rugendas, Thomas Eder, or Academy Director Félix-Émile Taunay. If in his work we can perceive a veiled allusion to the iconography of the resting Hercules, it is also mandatory to observe how the painting re-signifies, in local key, realist stylistic traits well assimilated in the 1870 Parisian art milieu. The associations and dislocations from the popular to the virile, and from sensuousness to carnality – evident in the choice of the Italian model – give us an entry to Almeida’s work inscription in the academic debate on national representations.

This paper proposes an interpretation of the work willing to define its place in a debate where issues of race, identity and history were at stake. It examines the painting in the context of the contemporary concerns on the agricultural frontier, abolition of slavery and improvement of free labor, as well as the ideological debates on race and eugenics. It also addresses the artistic strategies mobilized by the painter, in his effort of absorbing and reorienting European models and traditions, in response to the question of developing a Brazilian School of art.


Heloisa Selma Fernandes Capel (UFG)

Modesto Brocos and art training models: defending professional arts in Brazil’s First Republic (1890-1915)

This presentation explores the work of Santiago de Compostela-born artist and professor Modesto Brocos y Gomez (1852-1915) concerning the teaching model to be applied by Brazil’s National School of Fine Arts. Focus is given to his book A questão do ensino de bellas artes, seguido da crítica sobre a direção Bernardelli e justificação do autor, published in Rio de Janeiro in 1915, and to the way it relates to school regulations drafted in 1890, 1901, and 1911 and to early educational reforms proposed during the First Republic (1899-1930). In this book, the artist offers his ideas on the education given at the School of Fine Arts, on the defence of professional teaching as a means of welcoming and training artists, and on the use of teachings “in the multiple applications of arts and activities”. Brocos y Gomez puts effort into supporting the ornamental arts, arguing in favour of turning painting classes (as defined by the 1911 reform) into decorative painting classes as well as establishing free student attendance and proposing an evening course on ornamental art. Moreover, he suggests the construction of an ornamental gallery and the establishment of the title of Professor of Drawing. According to him, the School should be attended not only by those who wished to commit themselves to the “great art”, but also by decorators, marble workers, woodcarvers, and goldsmiths, among others. For that he assessed the statute of the old Imperial Academy and documents from 1855 and compared regulations drafted in 1890, 1901, and 1911. These closely followed the First Republic’s early educational reforms: the Benjamin Constant Reform (1890), the Epitácio Pessoa Code (1901), and the Rivadávia Corrêa Reform (1911). They represented an attempt to confer freedom and secularism to education, as well as to promote encyclopedic syllabi and to debate education as a right, an ideal still far from realization. In summary, this presentation focuses on the artist’s perspective regarding these issues and takes into account his contributions to critiquing the education offered by the School of Fine Arts in its early years.



Josefina de la Maza Chevesich (México).

White on White: Models, Copies, and the Instruction of Academic Drawing in Nineteenth Century Chile

 In 1850 a group of cast models arrived to Valparaiso port. The group was placed in Santiago’s Academia de Pintura, a state institution founded a year earlier, in 1849. The acquisition of the casts had the double purpose of defining the curriculum of academic training and contributing to the formation of an enlightened taste associated to the dissemination of classical antiquity’s aesthetic values. The practice of drawing associated to the casts’ copy responded, therefore, to a particular way of seeing, knowing, and apprehending the world. Indeed, academic drawing was an ideological tool that reinforced the construction –in the context of a state formation period– of art and visual culture.

Unlike other academies that have kept their cast collections and the different drawing exercises made by students, the Chilean academy is defined by the opposite situation –materials were, indeed, lost or destroyed by time and negligence. This presentation will attempt to reconstruct the first years of the academy –and specifically the models of the classical tradition used by students in order to refine their artistic practice. Using written primary sources –press, discourses, reports, and records– this paper will pay attention to the key role of drawing in academic training and the ubiquitous presence of classical antiquity through cast models and the influence of the humanities in academic art.



Larisa Mantonvani e Giulia Murace (UNSAM – Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina).

“Teaching a love of beauty in the factories”: Industrial arts and Academy in Argentina at the turn of the XXth century

The industrial revolution, which began in Europe in the second half of the eighteenth century, also influenced the art world. Along with the mid-nineteenth century modernization of academies, the arts linked to this phenomenon were seen in a new light, leading to the emergence of numerous schools associated with industrial art museums. The earliest case occurred in England, whose Universal Exhibition of 1851, together with the creation of the South Kensington Museum in 1852, inaugurated a process of transformation through which these art forms gradually acquired a new status.

Argentine artistic institutions, which passed through a consolidation process in the early twentieth century, were also involved in the international debate. With the rise of Pío Collivadino’s as Director, the National Academy of Fine Arts re-oriented towards the decorative and industrial arts. At the same time, these arts found new spaces of legitimacy in the International Art Exhibition of the Centennial (1910), the National Exhibitions (inaugurated in 1911), and the formation of the National Exhibition of Decorative Arts (1918).

Thanks to the initiatives of the Stimulus Society of Fine Arts, the Academy was nationalized in 1905. The institution also initiated a drawing course and a School of Decorative and Industrial Arts. Collivadino had previously lived abroad in Italy for sixteen years, during which he participated actively in the artistic life of the country. As a student at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti in Rome, he was associated with the vision of the Museo Artistico Industriale. On his return home, he remained engaged in discussions of European art circles via both periodicals and books, which constituted the first repository of the library of the Academy, and the incorporation of Roman artists training with the institution.

In this paper, we discuss possible links between the director of the Academy and the Roman art institutions, with the aim of identifying common links visible through curriculum changes and the place these arts were ideologically thought to occupy in art instruction and artistic spheres, while keeping sight of related discussions in the Argentinian press.


Laurens Dhaenens (Catholic University of Louvain, Bélgica, e Universidad Nacional de San Martín, Argentina).

Modelled on Sound: Art Criticism and the Institutionalization of the Visual Arts in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago de Chile between 1869 and 1879.

Although incipient practices of visual art criticism in South America were strongly embedded in the dynamics of the literary field, a mapping of the earliest magazines with an explicit focus on the fine arts in Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Santiago de Chile highlights the significance of the music scene. The Brazilian Revista Musical e de Bellas Artes (1879) was the product of Arthur Napoleão and Leopoldo Américo Miguez, musicians who published scores and organised concerts. In Chile, the driving force behind Las Bellas Artes (1869) was Juan Jacobo Thompson, vice-president of the music association Sociedad Orfeón. Buenos Aires, by contrast, witnessed in 1878 the creation of El Arte en el Plata, a ‘revista artística y literaria’ that after one issue also moved in the direction of the musical field, entering into a collaboration with La Gaceta Musical.

Identifying this ‘musical phase’ in the development of art criticism as a regional phenomenon that took place between 1869 and 1879, this paper focusses on the discourse on visual arts within the aforementioned magazines. Each publication defined its prospects, corresponding with its particular social, political and cultural situation. Their primary ambition, however, was the same: to educate and ‘civilize’ the nation. The editorial text of the Revista Musical e de Bellas Artes states: “Os paizes, ainda mesmo os mais atrazados neste ramo de conhecimentos, têm um ou mais órgãos especiaes que sé occupão da arte, já cuidando no seu progresso e desenvolvimento […]”. Hence, the very act of founding these magazines performed a statement as such. The question what exactly this statement signified for the visual arts lies at the heart of this study.

Based on a discourse analysis, the paper first addresses the places and positions of the visual arts in the publications, and then turns to the representation of the cultural field and the creation of ‘imaginary galleries’. This implies a focus on institutional critique, respectively on the academy and its annual exhibitions in Brazil and Chile and the activities of the Sociedad Estímulo de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires. As this paper demonstrates, the musical context surfaces not merely as a platform for disseminating knowledge and criticism on the visual arts, but also as a component that generated and shaped critical thought on aesthetics, the organisation of the art scene and cultural collaborations.


Letícia Coelho Squeff (Art History Department, Federal University of São Paulo – UNIFESP).

The Exhibition of 1859 in the Fine Arts Academy of Rio de Janeiro: display, visibility of a collection and their relation to international models

 In recent years the Exhibitions (Exposições Gerais de Belas Artes – annual or biannual exhibitions held by the Fine Arts Academy of Rio de Janeiro) have called the attention of many scholars. However, there is still much to be uncovered. This paper draws upon museum studies and cultural studies to shed light on the exhibition of 1859 (Exposição Geral de Belas Artes de 1859). Through this case study I examine the circulation of artistic models and investigate the complex process of appropriation and re-creation implied in the artistic practices in 19th-century Rio de Janeiro.

This exhibition plays a central role in the history of art exhibitions organized by the Academy of Rio de Janeiro. It was the first exhibition after the reform of the Academy, held in the 1850s. In addition, at this exhibition the works of the collection later called “Escola Brasileira” (Brazilian School) were presented for the first time. The paintings, produced at the carioca Academy since its founding in 1826, were already organized following the model of “Galleria Progressiva”. This display raises questions on the creation of a local tradition and of an art history within Brazil.

I also consider how some specific works such as the small landscape Fábrica de Capanema, by Agostinho Mota, or the Estudos de Trajes by Victor Meirelles, among others, relate to international models. I argue that local artists made a creative appropriation of the various trends and artistic poetics in vogue in Europe of the time.


Marcele Linhares Viana (CEFET/RJ).

The École Guérin at Bauhaus – the decorative art teaching models at the National School of Fine Arts

 Just over 100 years ago, near the centennial anniversary of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, is published in 1915 a new regiment for the National School of Fine Arts (NSFA). This regiment is guided by measures presented by an educational reform that promotes the NSFA the expansion of the four courses offered – painting, sculpture, engraving and architecture – and establishing the teaching of decorative art across disciplines Ornatos Drawing, Ornatos Sculpture and Architecture Elements, for all courses. The creation of a specific matter for the exclusive teaching of decorative art takes place in school, was createded just only fifteen years later, in the 1930s. At that time, the influences of some European schools become evident in teaching in this field through the Decorative Art chair. They arrive in Brazil by pensioners School artists who come in contact with European Decorative Art after seizing the Overseas Travel Award. This group of artists is possible to highlight the work of Eliseu Visconti, during the period he spent in France, is a student of the artist Eugène Grasset in his courses of Decorative Art offered at the École Guérin in Paris. In the 1930s, Visconti uses Grasset Decorative Art teaching model in the current configuration that will offer within the University of Rio de Janeiro, at the Polytechnic School, and how some NSFA teachers and, above all, one of the teachers decorative art, the painter Henrique Cavalleiro. He, though not the only one to teach Decorative Art in NSFA, but he was the professor who headed the chair for longer: from 1938 to 1947, when it created an graduate degree in Decorative Art. From 1948, the model Cavalleiro chair continues to guide the foundations of the main matter of course: Decorative Composition. At that time, however, the professor is the painter Quirino Campofiorito. Throughout the 1950s, he is involved directly in the review and renewal of the course, based on models of European schools as the École Nationale des Arts Decoratifs and Bauhaus. In this context, the teaching of decorative art in NSFA with new contours and promotes changes that interfere with the structure of the course and contribute to an important process of transformation of the artistic education of the National School of Fine Arts during the 1950s and 1960s.


Maria Luisa Tavora (UFRJ).

Quirino Campofiorito: emblematic activist of modernization in the ENBA

By placing too much confidence in the affirmation statements of the postulates and motivations of the Modern Art Week 1922 in São Paulo, proffered by their protagonists and defenders, the pioneering modern art studies in Brazil neglected other transforming actions taking place in Rio de Janeiro, especially those produced in traditional centers and official institutions, such as the National School of Fine (ENBA). Such actions contribute to understanding the distinctive methods of constituting our modern art, with ambiguous, hesitant and hybrid practices. The ENBA can be considered in the field of relations established in Rio de Janeiro’s artistic-cultural scenario, as bringing its activities closer to extramural events, with expressive participation of some of its teachers and students. There are openings to be considered in the updating process of making art. Iconic figures emerge in the formulation of new visual arts. One of them is Pará-born artist and professor Quirino Campofiorito (1902-1993), who arrived in Rio as a young man seeking to learn from this School. Even before his experience in Europe in 1930 after being awarded a European travel prize, Campofiorito was mobilized in the struggle for a refined teaching method with the freedom of modern art. He was closely linked to the movements spontaneously created by the “progressive” students of the ENBA, whose line of battle was joined by the academic administration. He would gather institutional support for his proposals, one being, for example, implementing the printmaking course in the 1950s. He was a member of the Bernardelli Nucleus, an art critic, and jury member the National Fine Arts Salon, heading the group in favor of its Modern Division; he was a columnist for periodicals, started a journal and helped found the Brazilian Art Critics’ Association (ABCA). His concern with social mobilization was a feature of his vigorous profile as a distinguished figure on the Rio art scene. In his activist platform he was linked with the most innovative in modern vanguards of the early 20th century, worth highlighting his affiliation to the ideas of Gropius and Bauhaus teachings. Yet in his painting, he was reluctant to formalize his work solely in the canonical lexicon of modern art. Our article will address this iconic figure that made radical changes in the ENBA routine by modernizing the teaching structure without doing the same in his painting. In the bicentennial anniversary commemorations of this Institution, it is worth analyzing his ambivalent role.


Marize Malta (UFRJ).

Artists among flowers, foliage and ribbons: a decorative eye at Academy of Fine Arts of Rio de Janeiro and the ornamental models  in the nineteenth century

 The D. João VI Museum-EBA-UFRJ, legatee of didactic works of the Imperial Academy and the National School of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, has a collection of moldings, prints and drawings of phytomorphic motifs involving foliage, flowers, ribbons and compositions with scrolls, rocailles, grotesques. The same theme is reflected in the rare books library, with books of repertoire and decorative grammar, with floral motifs, ribbons and coquillage, expanding to letters, cartouches, monograms and vignettes.

In studies about drawing education and the use of models in the 19th century, we usually find mention of body parts (noses, mouths, hands and feet), classical statuary or architectural elements linked to Greek and Roman orders, and little about ornamental repertoire learned and developed in the formation of the artist in AIBA/ENBA. The drawing, painting and sculpture of ornaments were present in disciplines from the early days of the Academy, which can be attested by the drawings in crayon by Henrique José da Silva, dated from 1827.

If there are few ornamental models comparing with the human and architectural figures, it does not mean they were less important. The activity of decorating – know how to choose and apply the ornaments – was part of the training of the 19th century artists and passed through several generations that have learned to deal with the decoration in detail. In the late 19th century, artists also began to create their own ornamental repertoires, seeking to develop motifs like synthesis of nature, some with nationalistic sense. Would the practice of ornaments drawings and consulting books of repertoire facilitate the modernization process of the artistic attitude and decorative eye?

We intend to present a group of ornamental models that exists in the D. João VI Museum (art collection and rare books), intercrossing the various media in which they were configured and visual skills required, analyzing its various techniques, languages and disciplines that used them to seek to draw an initial overview of the different demands that have occurred in terms of education and market to answer the taste for flowers, foliage and ribbons…


Martinho Alves da Costa Junior (UFJF). 

Henrique Alvim Corrêa: academic artist and cinematographic model

The aim of this paper is to discuss the work of Henrique Alvim Corrêa (1876-1910) in two moments of his career. First, the presence of the artist in private ateliers, pupil of Édouard Detaille and Jean Brunet. Moment in which he turns specially toward war scenes and small paintings with ironic military accent. Today those works are almost entirely among private collectors. The majority of his works during those years were presented at the 1896’s Salon, Épisode militaire du siège de Paris (1870-71), moment in which his teacher, Édouard Detaille, was president of the Societé des artistes français. Alexandre Eulálio remains with his study, Henrique Alvim Corrêa: Guerra e Paz, cotidiano e imaginário na obra de um pintor brasileiro no 1900 europeu, as the main bibliographic reference on the artist. The second point of this research relates to the famous series of drawings made by Alvim Corrêa to illustrate the 1906 version of War of the Worlds, of Herbert George Wells, when Corrêa lived in Belgium and would, for that reason learned another way to concept his works. In this way, it is not the main goal of this investigation to compose a genesis or creative process of this drawings, before we intend to understand how Alvim Corrêa became a model to the following illustrations, specially to the cinema, from which the 2005 version, directed by Steven Spielberg, seems to revive the spirit of his drawings.  The design of the tripods, strictly speaking, can be compared to those created by the Brazilian artist, but not only, on Spielberg’s representation there is a constant presence of the 1906 drawings.


Michela Degortes (Universidade de Lisboa) e Maria João Baptista Neto (Universidade de Lisboa)

Art education in the Portuguese Court in Rio de Janeiro: the choice between the French and the Italian model

 In 1808 the diplomatic correspondence from Rome reveals the proposal of sending Italian artists to the Portuguese Court established in Brazil, anticipating the plan that the painter Joachim Lebreton would submit to the Portuguese Embassy in Paris seven years later, focused on the foundation of an Art School in the new capital Rio de Janeiro under the direction of French artists.

It was clear to the eyes of the Portuguese diplomats in Rome that the state of the roman art market, strongly unsettled by the wave of pillage and destruction led by the Napoleon’s army invading Italy, could make easier both the acquisition of contemporary artworks and the employment of the artists, impoverished by the sudden lack of buyers and patronage.

Furthermore, the establishment of a Portuguese Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, founded in 1790 and definitely closed due to the French invasions in 1805, implemented in some way the Portuguese relations within the artistic international community set into the papal city.

For these reasons, in 1817 the minister in Rome sent to the Court a meticulous project with the aim of re-founding the Academy there, reminding that a similar plan had been already approved by António Araujo de Azevedo in 1806.

It is known that neither the idea of sending Italian artists to Rio de Janeiro nor the aim of re-founding the academy in Rome accomplished. Still, it matters to reflect about the possible consequences within the artistic context in Portugal and Brazil if these plans had been achieved: how the employment of Italian artists and the choice of the Italian model instead of the french one would have affected the Art School in Rio de Janeiro? Moreover, a direct relation with another institution set in Rome, the very center of the arts and of the neoclassical taste, where all the most powerful European countries set their academies of fine arts since a long time, would have had a profound effect on the art in Brazil.


Oscar E. Vasquez (University of Illinois).

Copying and the Difference it Makes: Reproducing Policies and Power Among Rio de Janeiro’s, Mexico’s and Madrid’s Art Academies.

In the histories of the pictorial arts, imitation and mimesis have played a central role in Academies of Art. Beyond supporting a particular pedagogy that was sequentially based on repetitive copying of models – a system institutionalized in European academies of art by the 17th century and carried to the Americas in the following century — those concepts were also key to a political ideology that contributed to the replication of state power. The social outcome was that duplication of regulations and statues was a medium through which elites ensured that their taste and vision would be perpetuated. Using the examples of Brazil’s Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, Mexico’s San Carlos Academy, and Spain’s San Fernando Academy of Art, this paper analyzes the significant ways that artistic theories of “mimesis” and training based on copying paralleled the replication of similar statutes and regulations among and between Latin American academies and their acknowledged European models. This analysis, thus, examines how academies of art in the Americas constructed (un)equal “copies” of colonial and early national institutions. These new institutions, in turn, produced inequalities of their own.


Rafael Bteshe (PPGAV/EBA/UFRJ).

The manuscripts of Marques Júnior

In 1960, a few days before his death, the painter and professor of the discipline of Live Model Drawing at the National School of Fine Arts, Augusto José Marques Júnior (1887-1960) entrusted to Bandeira de Mello, his disciple, a box with a number of manuscripts, with personal notes and book  reports on the subject of drawing.

The box left by Marques, which we will study in this communication, has ten journals, carefully organized by subject matter (in Marques’ terminology “10 Points”), composed of a series of “notebooks” (term used by the author), as if they were chapters , within each manuscript. The points covered are: 1- on drawing materials; 2 the lighting of the live model; 3- chiaroscuro; 4- mass(ou ‘tone’) and line; 5- proportion and composition; 6- movement and balance; 7- the portrait; 8- form analysis; 9- the human figure; 10- expressions of physiognomy.

In his studies, Marques focuses on issues relating to drawing seeking references in academic treatises of the second half of the nineteenth century and early twentieth century, such as the writings of the French academic theorist of the nineteenth century – Charles Blanc (1813-1882). More than a tool for representing nature, drawing is presented as a form of knowledge, of visual thinking, approaching at times, mathematics (ratio), biology (anatomy and physiology) and physics (optics, color theory).

In this period, a series of drawing and painting manuals, aimed at the beginners in the arts, are published in Europe and Brazil. Such manuals had wide repercussions not only within the Academies, which were used as reference for studying, but also among independent artists. Analyzing the manuscripts of Marques Junior, we realized that these manuals reached the Brazilian School, since they were studied by the painter, as well as by his student and assistant Bandeira de Mello.

Marques Junior is part of the history of the National School of Fine Arts. He joined as a student in 1905; He received the Foreign Travel Award in 1916, remaining in France until 1922; that same year, he returned to Brazil, where he was appointed professor of painting; in 1950, he became a Live Model Drawing professor.

In addition to valuable biographical material, the analysis of the document box enables a greater understanding of the artists’ thinking in the first half of the twentieth century, and consequently of their own teaching methodology at the National School of Fine Arts.



Rogéria de Ipanema (UFRJ).

The illustrated translation of art in journal: Inside and outside the acting models of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts and the Revista Illustrada

In continuation of the problematization of the outer relations that concerned the Academy, we want to expand, in this 200 years anniversary, a research cut in the precedent edition of the MDJVI Seminar that historicizes the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, in the context of the journalistic criticism of art, by the translation of the political, satirical and illustrated press. In the 1870s and 1880s, the press understood, from the Rio de Janeiro court, further from information and advertising, the literary ink of the artistic practices imposed beyond the official actions of the State. For instance, clearly the one incorporated within the biggest action of artistic representation and its teaching, the Academy of Fine Arts. But more than this, among these two dimensions of different forms of system and organization, answering each one to its purposes – the outside practices and the inside representations, and wishes of the inside practices by the outside representations – opened up a space of discussion between art and journalism. The very General Exhibitions of the Academy make us realize its outer size, displayed with largesse, the near absence of boundaries of a geography that was not delimited by the academic works. This means, works produced by or in this geography, but with the clarity of the several examples of art that took place in the city, with foreign presences, independent artists and works in artistic processes that the Academy did not master, as the art of printing and the photography. In this way, it’s interesting to think of: the connections that were established in the autonomous circuits and/or parallel to the facts of the academy; the alternative and daily spaces of exhibition, as the commercial and private facilities; recognizing the bibliographic material, technical and literary, that transited through the court, coming from the outside news by the local writing and printings; hearing the news from the Brazilians abroad and from the foreigners in Rio de Janeiro; distinguishing the vernissages attended by the emperor in areas outside of the Academy; following the artists biographies, among other subjects, critics and journalistic translations. Finally, to see and read the Revista Illustrada for the artistic research of the 19th century in Brazil, still makes and remains an in-depth source for the writing of a history that contributes to the comprehension and construction of the acting models and translation of the artistic field in the last part of the monarchic regime, here discussed by Angelo Agostini’s press.



Samuel Mendes Vieira (UNICAMP).

Other visions of the history of Brazil: historical painting by Belmiro de Almeida

The proposed Communication is to examine two images of the artist Belmiro de Almeida: the screen “Os Descobridores” of 1899, and sketches “Tiradentes: Visão” published in “A Illustração Brasileira” in the year 1913. Two works that deal on the theme of the historical genre. Among the known works of Belmiro de Almeida (Serro – MG, 1858, Paris – FR, 1935), we find many representations of facts of the history of Brazil; “The artist is moved in such a genre of painting”, these were the words of Angelo Agostini (1843-1910), when Belmiro presented the screen “Aurora do 15 de novembro” in 1889, before that we ask: how the artist chose representing history in his works, when he devoted himself to the genre? And more: that dialogue these works have with the international painting? The historical painting in Brazil the last two decades of the nineteenth century saw changes in both the way the narration of facts represented, as the materiality of your invoice. These changes are due to an internal scene and another that is located externally, whether the unstable political scenario of the Empire, as well as the crisis in the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, but in the international arena, is also justified in the intense changes in the artistic field due to the new poetics of Realism/Naturalism, Impressionism and its ramifications for other paths, such as Pointillism and Symbolism. Thus, the pictorial tradition of the great genre was renewed and even merged with painting of customs, landscape and even the representation of the body, such as portraits and nudes. Thus, our goal is to understand, based on the two works of Belmiro, as artists of his generation articulated the plastic renovation needs and deconstructions of the pantheon of heroes with a new nationalist need Republican Brazil.


Silveli Maria de Toledo Russo (FAU-USP)

Private collection in Rio de Janeiro: Brando Barbosa stately home and its collection

The now proposed communication consists of a dynamic narrative between the art market and the art collection in Brazil that has attracted a large number of collectors for decades who aim at building an institutional collection according to a personal perspective regarding the conception of exhibitions, fostering and misappropriation of works of art.

In this context, it is possible to notice a unique collection typology called “collector’s house” whose collections are formed by their own possessors, their legitimate owners, giving rise to the analysis of some information and a large amount of challenges, mainly when it deals with the act of collecting in “stately home” which implies a connotation of a socioeconomic status even higher for the holders who are able to enjoy their acquisitions.

This naturally eccentric perception neither defines nor reduces the performance of this collection typology just for organizing and preserving its architectural structure and mobile equipment, but it is aimed at enlarging the repertoire of heritage references that are connected to their organizers’ family/local/regional history; exempli gratia, the creation of the Instituto Brando Barbosa (Brando Barbosa Institute) whose collection has been safeguarded in an eclectic eighteenth century building, located at the throbbing Jardim Botânico (Botanical Garden), right in the middle of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

From a museum perspective, in this collection typology three important integrating “Axes” can be noticed, namely: the collector(s), the collection and the building, observing, besides the mobile equipment, the house itself where the collection is kept,   for the architecture has been there with the questions related to a determined taste pattern have been there and at that time it was traditionally regarded as a receptor of the reports elaborated in the large European centers.

One must forcibly remember that the people who have the privilege of forming art collections in Brazil are not usually included on the list of passive and uncritical elected ones; on the other hand, through an empirical research carried out with active collectors nowadays, some elements of analysis could be gathered from the comparison between the theory and the results of the devised collection practices: donations, acquisitions and collections exhibited to the public – at temporary exhibitions – creating interesting dialogs inclusive.

As the collection being studied illustrates, and the various functions of the objects inserted into it (sometimes brought from other countries, sometimes local erudite production or locally made with the influence of exhaustively reproduced models), it becomes possible to imply the kind of discourse used about the decorative rules, whose content allows the understanding of the whole dynamics of the cultural process Brazil went through as from foreign influence (characterized by the conjunction of plastic contributions with an important intention towards religious, political, social and economic observances of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) in which Iberian roots can be noticed.


Silvia Lucas Vieira de Almeida (Universidade Nova de Lisboa)

Ambition and Indifference – The paradoxes of the academic world in Lisbon

This paper is an attempt to decode the difficulties faced in the early days of the Lisbon Fine Arts Academy. One way to go about it is becoming acquainted with an outstanding individuality of the Portuguese academic milieu – Francisco de Assis Rodrigues. His role as the first sculpture lecturer and later the Director of The Lisbon Fine Arts Academy was remarkable.  The four-decade career of Francisco de Assis Rodrigues portrays the ups and downs of the academic education and how he has triggered reactions in the Portuguese artistic environment.

Unlike France, whose academic institutions were shut soon after the Revolution, Portuguese Academies emerged from such Revolution as new agents for the much needed education and order.

The Academic Institutions first appeared in 1836, with a view to introducing the Fine Arts pedagogics by way of acknowledging and dignifying Arts and the artists, protecting the artistic heritage, and bringing about new relationships between the artists and the public.

Turning these into reality, however, meant facing up obstacles such as the scarcity of materials and human resources not to mention the impassiveness of the public in relation to artistic related issues and the lack of aesthetic culture.

Other than the efforts and pressure endured by the involved agents in pursuing the European academy trends, they also had to struggle against the political and cultural hurdles of the epoch.


Tatiana da Costa Martins (UFRJ).

The collection of the Dom João VI Museum: art, documentation and exhibition

The subject covers the formation of collections of the D. João VI Museum and its representation in the documentation and exposition, highlighting the conception of art that reference such processes (musealization) in the Museum. The goal turns to identify and analyze the formation of the collections under the artistic criteria, its transformation in museology collections, taking in account the documentation and exposition of the Museum. The analysis of the terms Museum, Art, documentation and exposition put the museological communication in context, in addition to checking the inclusion the various forms of documentation and exposition of the institution in the artistic scope.


Taís Gonçalves Avancini (UNAM, México).

The formation of Mexican and Brazilian artists between 1890 and 1920 in ENBA of Mexico and ENBA of Brazil by producing drawings

This research aims at analyzing the drawings by artists who have studied in City of Mexico’s National School of Fine Arts and in Rio de Janeiro’s National School of Fine Arts between 1890 and 1920.

In the Mexican case, some of the selected workpieces are: Manuel Iturbide – Vênus de Médici [Medici Venus]; Luis Serrano – Voltaire (1908); Adrián de Unzueta – Desnudo masculino sentado [Male sitting nude];  Ramón Hurtado – Academia [Academy]; Alberto Garduño – Mujer sentada [Sitting woman]; and Diego Rivera – Vênus de Milo [Venus de Milo] (1903).

For the Brazilian case some selected works are: Julieta França – Figura Masculina [Male figure] (sculpture copy) (1899); Angelina Agostini – Nu masculino em pé de frente [Standing male frontal nude] (1909); Rafael Frederico – Nu feminino [Female nude] (1893); Lucílio de Albuquerque – Nu masculino de costas [Male nude back] (1906); Augusto Bracet – Lançador de disco [Discus thrower] (sculpture copy) (1904); and Rodolfo Chambelland – Nu feminino [Female nude] (1916).

The pictures produced throughout the academic formation in the late 19th century and early 20th in both schools will be observed through the plastic-formal and thematic problems they present. These problems will be approached through the light of the artists’ academic studies especially with regard to drawing lessons.

In order to analyze the object we intend to follow the idea of a dynamics of persistences and formal and thematic deviations. As persistence we understand the ensemble of formal and thematic solutions as well as the actions in the artistic field (teaching, production and cultural thinking) which have as foundations previous repertoires. As deviations we consider the attempts of changing the formal and thematic solutions and the actions in the artistic field (teaching, production and cultural thinking) in the context of the artistic objects analyzed.

The dynamics of persistences and deviations will be approached taking in account the historiographic analysis in Mexico and in Brazil, concerning the period and the concepts of modernization, modernity and modernism. Such review is necessary due to the fact that our object of study is inserted into a moment of great sociocultural and economic transformations observed in both countries which are comprehended as a modernization process. The period between 1890 and 1920 has been observed by the historiography through different analysis and conceptualization, which led both Brazilian and Mexican historiography to dress a context about the theme.

The research intends to analyze the objects from the point of view of the formal and thematic solutions of the drawings, searching for resemblances as the dynamics of persistences and deviations part from ancient solutions in both Mexican and Brazilian national art schools.

The hypothesis is centered in the idea that the drawing production in both academies has common points as far as the dynamics persistence-deviation is concerned. This dynamics comes from ancient formal and thematic problems which take force throughout the period. Our hypothesis intends to verify the resemblance, in both art schools, of three formal problems: the search for more concise forms; the linear design and the use of light and shadow, as well as three thematic problems: the female nude; the elderly and youngsters and the workers.

Both institutions have started a way of bringing new meanings to the role of academic teaching, which can be verified in the drawing productions of the students and their thematic-formal solutions. For this purpose we intend to search which models have been followed (European – France and Spain) and the way these models were received.

These formal and thematic resemblances can be shown in the drawing production through its thematics (drawings set in a scene), figure structure and insertion in the set, construction and form definition, gestures and visage expression, line and shadow. Lastly, the formal and thematic solutions will be put in perspective taking in account the teaching methods, the artistic references in the period, the sociocultural thought, the artistic field within and out of the academies based on a visual thematic repertoire which can be historically verified.


Thiago Rafael da Costa Santos (IFMT – Campus Fronteira Oeste Pontes e Lacerda, Mato Grosso)

Debret, reader of Humboldt 

The landscape and botanical studies form a small set in the pages of the Voyage Pittoresque et Historique au Brésil (Paris, 1834-39), written by the French painter Jean-Baptiste Debret. However, their analysis provides some interesting evidence of the importance of naturalistic debate for the artist’s album making. In this sense, it is worth highlighting the specific references to the Alexander von Humboldt – on the first page and diluted throughout the work – which demonstrate both the Debret familiarity with the voluminous work of the German scholar traveler and in general to the affairs of the natural history as practiced at the time. But beyond the explicit terms, which is evident approach, the links with the Humboldt work appear in Debret album also in appropriation of another type. In this paper, we intend to highlight the context of the Humboldt quotes within the Debret’s Voyage Pittoresque and the model of landscape painting that guided Debret in his paintings of the Brazilian tropical world nature.


Valéria Piccoli (Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo).

The creation of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and its initial collection

This presentation aims to bring to discussion the creation of the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, the first art museum in the State of São Paulo, considering its similarities and differences with the model established by the Academy of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro.

The Pinacoteca was established in December 25, 1905, by the São Paulo State Government as a painting gallery alongside with the Liceu de Artes e Ofícios (School of Arts and Crafts), an institution devoted to vocational training. The first 26 paintings that made up the Pinacoteca collection were authored by eight renowned artists of the late nineteenth century, who had lived or produced in São Paulo, such as Almeida Júnior, Pedro Alexandrino, Oscar Pereira da Silva e Antonio Parreiras, among others. Part of them were transferred from the Museu do Estado (State Museum) – current Museu Paulista at USP – by decree of the São Paulo State Government. The decision to part, from the encyclopedic collection of the Museu do Estado, the works that were considered at the time to be “artistic” – as opposed to the ones that had “historical value” – highlights undoubtedly an official view of the arts in that period. Therefore, the genre scenes, still lifes and landscapes came to form the collection of the Pinacoteca, intended to be an art collection that would stimulate the taste of the local audience, as well as function as an important resource for future artists. The works that remained at the Museu Paulista were eminently historical, in line with the celebrative function of that museum-monument.

The policies that led to the creation of the São Paulo art museum will be highlighted, allowing to reflect on the place occupied by this institution in the broader context of the improvements carried out by the State Government in the city of São Paulo itself. So, the creation of the museum will be seen together with some urban transformations and the establishment of institutions aimed at public education as well as public entertainment. The presentation will also approach the policies regulating the Pensionato Artístico, local equivalent of the Fine Arts Academy Travel Award. As far as possible, the text will address the relationship of these public policies with private collecting, which gained a special momentum in the first decades of the twentieth century.