A leading player in the mythical Modern Art Week (São Paulo, 1922), Emiliano Di Cavalcanti embraced the modernist cause early on. His was an extremely personal brand of modernism to which Brazilianness (samba, morros, favelas, and dances) was paramount. Indeed, his work is steeped in the scent, taste, and color of Brazil. In 1932, the year the artist painted "Mulheres com frutas", Mário de Andrade described him as an “analyst of nighttime Rio de Janeiro, a biting and pragmatic satirist of the flaws of our society, a loving singer of our small celebrations, the greatest painter of mulattoism.” An allegorical painting, "Mulheres com frutas" is, in composition, not unlike a muralist work. The central figure is a reclining mixed-race woman holding a basket brimming with the fruits of Brazil, mostly mangos and bananas. A second woman behind her appears lost in thought. The barely visible landscape is ren- dered in pale geometric shapes. The blue and green of the sky, the sea, and the mountains offset the fruits and leaves.


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