Composition in black and white. Rapid contour lines. Composition representing almost full body of a man sitting, occupying almost the entire support area against background suggesting landscape. Figure faces forward, has a long face, with well-marked facial features. The torso is slightly inclined to the right, the left arm is bent with fist closed to the neck and the right arm is stretched with hand resting on the neck. The figure is suggested to be sitting on a bench outdoors, and on the backgroung, to the right, we see the suggestion of a hill and tree, and to the left, the horizon.


  • Title: Palaninho
  • 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: 1930
  • Physical Dimensions: w13 x h19.5cm without frame
  • Provenance: João Candido Portinari
  • Rights: João Candido Portinari
  • External Link: Projeto Portinari
  • Theme: Brazilian Culture:common types, human figure:man
  • Technique: lead pencil
  • Signature: Unsigned
  • Painter: Candido Portinari
  • Number: FCO 3673
  • Notes: In July 1930, Portinari wrote to Rosalita Mendes de Almeida, his close friend and colleague at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes / ENBA. The letter became known as the "Palaninho Letter," a declaration in which the artist described the Brazil that moved and inspired him, along with his intention to depict it upon his return. In the letter, the artist described the character Palaninho and his family, simple, typical country people: "... Palaninho is from my hometown, Brodowski. Palaninho is short and skinny with a gaunt, discolored face from having hookworm; he looks like a dehydrated, sick child. His face is blank, but people can see he is Palaninho. You can tell he’s Palaninho by his scraggly, dusty beard; he only has one tooth. He wears white pants made from flour sack with lots of dark patches made from striped cloth; you can still see the ink from the flour label. He ties his pants at the ankles with corn husks so the mud doesn’t splash up and on weekdays he doesn’t wear boots. On Sundays he goes to church with pants made of the same cloth but ironed inside out. He wears a dark, striped jacket with a thin collar and four buttons, three black and one white. Palaninho wears stretch boots with a whole where the bunion is. The pants are tucked into the boots. He goes without a tie. Palaninho has a little piece of land. He says a whole bunch of brilliant stuff that I can’t write but can just imitate. Palaninho is real funny; honest cause he has to be; believes in God and all the saints because he’s afraid; sometimes he lies. He’s married to Biela, a tall, skinny dishwater blonde who has dentures that cost eight hundred thousand réis, like she tells everybody she sees. She has long hair and a bun and some curly strands of hair on her neck. She wears a blouse buttoned up to the neck and bosses Palaninho around. I came to Paris to discover Palaninho, after seeing so many museums and castles and civilized people. There in Brazil, I never thought about Palaninho" [CO 4545].
  • Inscription: Dated in inscription at bottom left edge "Paris 930”. At bottom right edge "Palanin”. On reverse, inscription by Maria Portinari "desenho de autoria de Candido Portinari, autenticado por Maria Victoria Portinari”.
  • Function: Work done by the artist in Paris after winning the European Trip Prize. In addition, he did two nudes [FCO 2635, FCO 3833], three still lifes [FCO 63, FCO 901, FCO 2867], a self-portrait [FCO 3156] and two other drawings [FCO 2514, FCO 2515].
  • Catalogue Raisonné: CR-171

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