Sculpture Collection: from the Republic to the Contemporary

Museu Nacional de Belas Artes

Sculpture Collection: from the Republic to the Contemporary
This collection presents works by sculptors that marked the development of Brazilian art history, such as Rodolfo Bernardelli, Francisco Stockinger, Modestino Kanto, Hugo Bertazzon, Victor Brecheret, Bruno Giorgio, Farnese de Andrade, and Zélia Salgado, and by contemporaries, such as Walter Riedweg and Mauricio Dias. They are pieces of various shape and size in bronze, wood, iron, and resin, that shaped the transformation of artistic production and the art of carving from the proclamation of the Republic in 1889 to the present day. The period represented in this exhibition is characterized, initially, by variations of style, brought from Europe by a bourgeoisie with Parisian airs, who would become involved in the most diverse artistic and philosophical currents of the inter-war period. The constant sojourns in foreign parts by means of scholarships and travel grants, or even subsidies by family members, typifies the kind of contact they had with European art. Some of the works are official commissions and others, works that personify emblematic personalities of their time, as well as social themes. Moving across from figurative to abstraction, these are pieces that express the poetics of their time and the taste of a society troubled by aesthetic and cultural conflicts.
Rodolfo Bernardelli
From the end of the 19th century, when the proclamation of the Republic took place, until the middle of the 20th century, Rodolfo Bernardelli was the main representative of Brazilian sculpture. As the director of the National School of Fine Arts and official sculptor of the State, he authorized the main monuments and statues for the public streets of the main Brazilian cities during this period.

The idea of building a monument to the Discovery of Brazil came from a group of people who later formed the Association of the Fourth Centennial of Brazil. There was no tender, as was customary for the commission of public works. Rodolfo Bernardelli was invited to produce the work for free. Only the necessary expenses were paid for this project. The monument was completed in two years, a real race against time for the artist.

Monument to the Discovery of Brazil

The inauguration, which took place on May 3, 1900, in the presence of the then President of the Republic, Afonso Pena, featured an open-air mass celebrated on an altar placed on a cross shaped platform.

Baron from Mauá

The statuette that served as a study for the monument of the Baron from Mauá

Monument to Baron de Mauá

The monument was inaugurated in September 1903 in the Praça Mauá, Rio de Janeiro, where it remains today.

Muses for the facade of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro

Bernardelli is the author of the muses project for the facade of the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro. Based on Realism, he presents them as a fixed point to capture the attention of the viewer. The joy of the face of Dance and the taciturn features in the face of Tragedy are easily recognizable. Together, the allegories of the facade of the Municipal Theater symbolize the contribution of Bernardelli to the grandeur of the building, a beautiful example of the Carioca belle époque.

The joy on the face of Dance is easily noticeable

and the sullen physiognomy of Tragedy



Model for the monument to the Count of Figueiredo, 1888

The character is sitting in a comfortable chair, in a meditative pose. As Bernardelli did not usually portray sitting people, this model seems to be one of the few examples among his works.

Miss José de Alencar Sculpture of the daughter of the patriarch of Brazilian literature, José de Alencar. Bernardelli manages to capture in marble an authentic young woman of the Rio bourgeoisie,

with well proportioned shapes, carefully worked hair

and serene features. The look gives the girl a feeling of youth and freshness.

Modestino Kanto
Sculptor and teacher, he attended Junior High School of Arts and Crafts of Rio de Janeiro and studied Sculpture with Rodolfo Bernardelli and Correia Lima at the National School of Fine Arts.In 1918 he was awarded the Prize of Travel for Foreigners in the National Salon of Fine Arts..

"Fruit of the Earth"

The artist makes use of well-modelled lines and volumes to translate the sensuality,

elegance, and femininity of the model.

Hugo Bertazzon
He was born in Três Montes, Amparo district, in São Paulo. Son of Italians, his first studies were carried out in Pieve Di Soligo, Treviso, Italy. He also studied with the sculptor T. Belloto at the Carmine School of Applied Art. In 1918, he entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, under the guidance of Pietro Carmine, obtaining the title of Professor of Drawing and Sculpture. He returned to Brazil in 1922, settling in São Paulo until 1926, when he again traveled to Europe. In 1928, he moved to Rio de Janeiro. He participated actively in the Official Salons and received several awards.

In Contemplation

In "Contemplation" and "Dancer," both from the 1930s, Bertazzon uses geometrization in the construction of simplified shapes, with an emphasis on straight lines.

The faces are defined by clean angles. The representation of the hair strands resembles the allegorical heads of the sculptures of Antoine Bourdelle, in which small sinuous curves contrast with the main pleats.

Armando Magalhães Correia
Student of Rodolfo Bernardelli, Correia Lima and Zeferino da Costa at the National School of Fine Arts. Great idealist, he took a prominent position in the fight for artists' rights and the appreciation of Fine Arts in his time.

"The Jaguar's Leap"

The sculptor, generally very skillful in the construction of his animals, takes advantage of perpendicular lines to give movement

and greater realism to the feline's leap, emphasizing his musculature.

Décio Vilares
Painter and sculptor, he attended the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in 1868. He traveled to Europe in 1872, perfecting himself with Alexandre Cabanel in Paris and Pedro Américo in Florence. Upon returning to Brazil, influenced by positivism, he adhered to republican ideals.

São Paulo

The artist explores the diagonal line to give movement and drama to the subject. The techniques used to scuplt the hair and beard add to a theatricality that gives emotion to the face.

the hair

and beard add to a theatricality that gives emotion to the face.

Hildegardo Leão Velloso 
Sculptor, decorator and teacher. Student of Rodolfo and Henrique Bernardelli at the National School of Fine Arts. He participated in the Semana de Arte Moderna de 1922 and obtained, during his career, several awards in Salons of Art.

Henrique Bernardelli

Bust in romantic style, in which the author's aim is to portray the emotions of the person portrayed, through perfect rendering of facial musculature.

Bruno Giorgi
He began his studies in Rome. Then, in Paris, he attended the classes of Aristide Maillol at the Ranson Academy and at the Academy of La Grande Chaumieère in 1936 and 1937. Upon returning to Brazil in 1939, he settled in São Paulo, integrating the modernist movement, alongside Mário de Andrade and Victor Brecheret, among others.

Camponesa Giorgi sculpts the bust of a peasant woman, ensuring synthesis of the form

in order for the balanced lines to confer serenity and lyricism to the face.

Figueira Júnior
He was part of the Paulista Artistic Family, whose exhibitions he participated (1937 - 1940). He is referenced by Serio Millet in Pintores e Pinturas (1940) and Quirino Campofiorito in the article "Escultura Moderna no Brasil," published by Revista de Arte.

Bust in which the artist introduces

new textures, whose dialogue with the polished pieces confers a modern look to the work.

Castellane, Arlindo Castellani di Carli, dito
Painter and sculptor, studied at the Lyceum of Arts and Crafts of São Paulo, having been a student of José Maria da Silva Neves and Enrico Vito. He has executed several public works in several cities of the country.

Bust of Dr. Iglésias

Bust in a realist style, in which the sculptor is concerned with faithfully representing both form and feeling.

Victor Brecheret 
He studied in Paris with Antoine Bourdelle. Back in Brazil in 1926, he settled in São Paulo. His art tends to monumental, characterized by the expressionist vigor that impresses his figures.

"Perfume Carrier"

A work of great proportions, the delicacy of the detail gives the piece a decorative design.

The shapes are clean and the body well defined and slightly rounded. Note the artist's concern in emphasizing the sharpness of the body by means of uniform light.

Francisco Stockinger
He arrived in Brazil in 1921. In 1929, he settled in São Paulo and studied at Mackenzie College, where Anita Malfati taught drawing classes. He lived in Rio de Janeiro from 1937 to 1954, when he moved to Porto Alegre and started working with woodcut. Designed and made caricature for the newspaper "A Hora". In 1956, he became a Brazilian citizen and was elected president of the 'Rio-Grandense' Association of Fine Arts Francisco Lisboa. He founded and became the first director of the Atelier of the Porto Alegre City Hall in 1961.

The two works in the exhibition represent the female figure. When looking at them, we follow the process that the author used to make them. In Mulher Ajoelhada stands the volumes

notice the volumes highlighted by light produced by different textures.

A break with the feminine form may be noted here,

produced by the treatment of the cast bronze, inwhereby irregular pieces are accumulated and combine to the eye and touch.

Josias Félix Pereira
Active sculptor in Rio de Janeiro. Disciple of Schnoor, he participated in the National Salon of Fine Arts in 1959, when he obtained the bronze medal.

Bust of young woman, characterized by the way the artist explores the material and lines in the making of the portrait. The contrast

between polished and unpolished is emphasized.

Margarida Lopes de Almeida
He began his artistic studies with Correia Lima at the National School of Fine Arts in 1916. In 1924 he received the Prize for Foreigner Travel to Paris, where he remained for five years. In 1930, he gained the honorable mention in the Hall of the French Artists in Paris.

Perfect modeling, in which the author explores the indentations to illuminate the face and give the subject feeling. Observe how the artist works the texture of the hair.

Observe how the artist works the texture of the hair.

Edgar Duvivier 
Graduated from the former National Law Faculty of Rio de Janeiro. For 12 years, he practiced as a lawyer, abandoning it to dedicate himself to sculpture. He studied with Carlos Chambelland and Paulo Mazzuchelli. His work reveals, initially the traditional inspiration, remaining affiliated to the academic realism. Later, it evolved into abstract forms.

Primavera Skillfully modeled work, in which the sculptor uses the qualities of polyester resin to give a diffuse and translucent appearance to the work. The smooth modeling is almost caressing and a simple harmony engulfs the piece.

The light traverses the surface of its forms, emphasizing the delicacy and sexuality of the female figure.

Diocleciano Martins de Oliveira
Painter, draftsman and sculptor. He studied in Rio de Janeiro with Oswaldo Teixeira and Salvador Sabaté, and was one of the promoters of the Salão de Recusados, held in this city in 1952. That same year, he founded the National Free Movement of Fine Arts. Author of the book "Iniciação Plástica" and the album "Imagens do Encantamento".

The meeting

Representation in relief of a Christian scene with strong Cubist influence.

Remo Bernucci 
He studied art with his father Tito Bernucci. Active participant of the Salons of the decade of 1960. Received the Prize of Outward Travel in the XXII Salon of Fine Arts, in 1967.

The forest The sculptor makes use of the material's texture

to express the shape of the trees.

Zélia Salgado
He began his artistic studies with Henrique Bernardelli in the studio at the Lido square, residency of Bernardelli brothers. In 1924, he entered the National School of Fine Arts. After winning the Caminhoá Prize in 1930, he traveled to Europe. In Paris, he studied with Isaac Dobrinski (drawing), Robert Wlérick (sculpture) and Othon Friesz. In Brazil, he received guidance from Roberto Burle Marx. Professor of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (1954 - 1959), member of the National Commission of Fine Arts (1962 - 1963) and president of the International Association of Visual Artists.

Black marble Sculpture in abstract form, with bold volume, in which curves and edges

are elaborated in order to give them expressive force.

Nina Baar
She studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Geneva, then in Berlin and Warsaw. She exhibited individually for the first time in Lausanne in 1913. In Brazil, she lived in Rio de Janeiro, where in 1965 she presented paintings and collages at the Barcinski Gallery, owned by her husband, in an exhibition that attracted the attention of art criticism.

"The Sea and the Land" The sculptor constructs the piece using an array of different types of objects to give it form.

Farnese de Andrade
Designer and Engraver, was part of the group of artists gathered around Alberto da Veiga Guinard between 1946 and 1948. He attended, from 1959 to 1961, the engraving in metal course taught by Johnny Friedlaender at the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro. Years later, he began to make montages with objects collected on the beaches and in demolitions and antiquaries. In 1969, he received the Prize of Travel of the Country in the National Salon of Modern Art and, the following year, in the same Hall, the Prize of Travel to the Foreigner.

Two works from his time as illustrator and engraver in Rio de Janeiro.

Working together with renowned artists in his studio led him to work with geometry, but without giving up his collection of reclaimed materials twith which he composed his creations.

Sylvia Goyanna 
He studied ceramics in New York at the College of Ceramics Alfred University and participated in the design and execution of the ceramic panel for the entrance hall of the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) of Rio de Janeiro. Professor of ceramics at the University of Santa Ursula in Rio de Janeiro.

The artist starts from two antagonistic forms, but makes use of a fixed axis, which is generally a point of union between them.

Almandrade, Antônio Luiz Morais de Andrade, dito
Visual artist, architect, master in urban design and poet. Participated in several collective exhibitions, including XII, XIII and XVI Biennials of São Paulo. He was one of the founders of the Language Studies Group of Bahia, who published the magazine Semiótica in 1974. He has written in several newspapers and specialized magazines on art, architecture and urbanism. He received the Fundarte Prize at the XXXIX Salão de Artes Plásticas in Pernambuco and 1986, and has works in several private and public collections, such as the Museum of Modern Art of Bahia and the Pinacoteca of the Municipality of São Paulo.

Geometric work in which assembly and strong colors give balance and a certain movement.

Maurício Dias / Walter Riedweg
- Maurício Dias - Graduated in Fine Arts from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, he holds a post-degree certificate in Visual Arts from the Schule für Gestaulung in Basel, Switzerland. In Basel, he met Walter Riedweg and has since worked together on public art projects, working in the intersection between visual arts, documentary and sociocultural studies. - Walter Riedweg - Graduated in Choir Conducting and Orchestra by the Musikakademie of Lucerne and in Theater by Scuola di Teatro Dimitri, in Verscio, Italy. Since 1993, he has worked with Mauricio Dias in an interactive way, having participated in several national and international exhibitions, such as the XXIV and XXV International Biennials of São Paulo in 1998 and 2002, and the 48th Venice International Biennial in 1999. His work investigates the relations between the public and private spheres in order to relate the individual to the socio-political context in which he is inserted.

"Devotionalia" began as a mobile workshop for street children and adolescents in Lapa, central Rio de Janeiro. During 1995 it expanded to eighteen locations, covering several streets and favelas in Rio. Each participating child made a copy of their own foot or hand using the basics of sculpture, using clay, plaster, and paraffin wax. For each ex-voto made there is a corresponding message, a personal desire, recorded on video. Votives and videos form this installation, a great collective ex-voto, that was deposited in an art museum rather than in a church, not for God, but for all of society.

Each participating child made a copy of their own foot or hand using the basics of sculpture, using clay, plaster, and paraffin wax. For each ex-voto made there is a corresponding message, a personal desire, recorded on video.

Votives and videos form this installation, a great collective ex-voto, that was deposited in an art museum rather than in a church, not for God, but for all of society.

Credits: Story

Sculpture Collection of the MNBA: from the Brazilian Republic to Contemporaneity Caixa Cultural Salvador
July 20 through August 22, 2010
Caixa Cultural São Paulo
September 4 to October 17, 2010

Mariza Guimarães Dias

Credits: All media
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