The Rio of Leandro Joaquim

Museu Histórico Nacional

These paintings, attributed to Leandro Joaquim, portray the Rio de Janeiro of the 18th century. Of the eight elliptical panels that were commissioned by the Viceroy Dom Luis de Vasconcelos e Sousa, two disappeared and the remaining six belong to the collection of the National History Museum. They are historical documents that enable us to visualize the local landscape, adapted for the activities of its inhabitants.

Urban works
Luís de Vasconcelos, Viceroy of Brazil from 1778 through 1790, carried out important urban works, such as the embankment of the Boqueirão Lagoon to establish the Public Promenade, and the renovation of the old Largo do Paço, which included the installation of the pyramid fountain, a project of Master Valentim da Fonseca e Silva.

The Arcos da Lapa, the old Aqueduct of Carioca, continue to complete the city's landscape.

Squadron at Guanabara Bay
In the bay of Rio de Janeiro, only the ships of countries friendly to Portugal were admitted. It is possible that the great battle squadron depicted here was bound for the Indian Ocean.

Pilgrimage of boats at sea
Since its foundation, Rio de Janeiro has had a maritime function. Even its religious practices were expressed at sea, in events such as the pilgrimage of boats that parade before the Hospital of the Lázaros, São Cristóvão.

Fishing activities
The fortunate geography made Rio de Janeiro the favored entry point to the Colony, secured by powerful fortifications. At that time, whaling was a highly developed activity.

Church by the sea
The Church of Our Lady of Glory of Outeiro, better known as the Church of Glory, is a monument of baroque architecture. It had an advantageous location, facing the Bay of Guanabara.

The church still exists, but today the Flamengo Embankment is further from the sea.

Military parade
To the left, in front of the main facade of the old Viceroy's Palace, later on the Imperial Palace, is the Bragança Regiment; in front of the side facade, under a red flag, is the Novo do Rio Regiment. In the background, in front of the Carmo Convent, the former Cathedral and the 3rd Order of Carmo, the Moura Regiment is aligned. To the right, in front of the Teles Arch, the 2nd Militia Regiment of Santa Rita. In the foreground, Master Valentim's fountain, and with its back to the sea, the Artillery Regiment of Rio and the Viceroy's guard.

The fountain of Master Valentim and the Imperial Palace still stand out in the center of Rio de Janeiro.

Credits: Story

President of Brazil
Michel Temer

Minister of State for Culture
Roberto Freire

President of Brazilian Museums Institute
Marcelo Mattos Araújo

Director of National History Museum
Paulo Knauss de Mendonça

Administrative Coordinator
Américo David Aurélio

Technical Coordinator
Vania Drummond Bonelli

Thanks to
José Caldas

MHN – 2017

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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