Baptista da Costa was born in a humble family from the metropolitan region of Rio de Janeiro. His troubled childhood and the early death of his parents -- when he was only 8 years old -- eventually led him to live in the Asilo de Menores Desamparados, in Rio de Janeiro. There he had his first contact with drawing classes and, by the encouragement of a teacher, he was able to enter the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in 1885, where he would graduate four years later. In the institution, he received the award for abroad training and studied in Académie Julian, in Paris. Throughout his life, stay at Escola Nacional de Belas Artes as professor and director of the Institution. He died in 1926, at the age of 61, in Rio de Janeiro. His work is diverse, including portraits, copies, paintings of genre and, mainly, landscapes.