Composition in gray, earthy, white, black, violet, lilac, ochre and green tones,. Smooth, thick, marked strokes and spatula effects. Figures outlined in black and deliberate significant deformation. It depicts a group of dispossessed crying over a dead child in outback landscape. In the center of the area of ​​the composition, sitting in a box, is a woman facing front, with the upper body leaning down. She wears a gray dress and has folded arms with elbows on legs that are far apart. She holds in her arms a naked dead child's body horizontally with the head to the left, the right arm fallen, legs bent at the knees. Face and hand are to the right, were suggesting an advanced state of decomposition. On the left, woman standing, facing slightly forward with the upper body leaning to the right as if he were leaning on the shoulder of woman sitting. Her head is tilted forward, which leaves an almost invisible face, where we see mainly the "stone tears" that fall from her eyes. She wears a dress in shades of gray and her arm bis ent, holding the right forearm of the woman sitting; her legs spread and feet are. In front, girl, standing almost in profile to the right. She has black hair and face with facial features hidden by the "stone tears" covering her cheeks. She wears a lilac dress and holds in her hands the head of the child's body, has legs apart and is barefoot. To the right of the composition, next to the seated woman, young woman standing in front, with a kind of tunic on her head and dressed in short sleeves. Right arm is bent with hand on her face where "stone tears" fall. Left arm along the body with hands holding the right wrist of the boy next to her, also standing and facing forward. The boy has a head disproportionate to the body, wears only a gray shirt, has legs apart and left arm along the body. The ground where the group stands is flat and arid, with a gourd on the floor to the right and scattered boulders. In the background, horizon and sky line in a marked stripe occupying half the support height in two tones: ochre, close to the horizon, and blue in gradient darkening to the upper edge of the support.


  • Title: Dead Child
  • Creator Lifespan: 1903-12-29 - 1962-12-06
  • Creator Nationality: Brazilian
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Creator Birth Place: Brodowski, São Paulo, Brazil
  • Date: 1944
  • Location Created: Petrópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
  • Physical Dimensions: w190 x h180cm without frame
  • Provenance: João Candido Portinari
  • Rights: João Candido Portinari
  • External Link: Projeto Portinari
  • Theme: social:death, social:Northeastern migrant, Nature:landscape:field, human figure:child:girl, human figure:child:boy, human figure:group, human figure:woman, diverse:recurring elements:gourd
  • Technique: oil
  • Signature: Signed and dated in bottom right corner "PORTINARI 944"
  • Painter: Candido Portinari
  • Number: FCO 2735
  • Function: Migrants Series
  • Catalogue Raisonné: CR-2057

Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps