With the "caipiras" paintings series, Almeida Júnior shifted the focus from the search for the definition of the "national type" to a more regional context, by endowing peasant representation from the countryside with the nobility of historical painting. It is in the simple daily routine of rude men, often caught at rest or in the accomplishment of ordinary activities, that the artist sought to reveal the dignity and virtues of country life. Born in the interior of São Paulo, Almeida Júnior showed familiarity with the subject that he represented, recording with naturalistic attention the dress, the gestures and the appearance of the buildings and even the typical utensils of these characters, as can be seen in the "Cozinha caipira" also belonging to Pinacoteca collection. These paintings gain even more interest if analyzed in contrast to the many portraits produced by the artist, which constitute a true confrontation between the man of the field and the man of the city. As São Paulo began to assume a relevant role in the national economy, the portraits of engineers and entrepreneurs from São Paulo seemed to direct to an inevitable future provided by material progress, while the peasants presented themselves as registers of a genuine culture, but doomed to disappear.


  • Title: O violeiro [The Guitar Player]
  • Creator: Almeida Júnior
  • Date Created: 1899
  • Physical Dimensions: 141 x 172 cm
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: Acervo da Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo, Brasil. Transferência do Museu Paulista, 1947
  • Year and death place name: 1899 - Piracicaba, SP, Brazil
  • Year and birth place name: 1850 - Itu, SP, Brazil

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