In October 1905 begins the story that connects the painter Eliseu Visconti to D'Angelo with the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro. Visconti was born on July 30th 1866 in Salerno, Italy. As a child he came to Brazil around 1873. He went to live in the town of Alem Paraiba in a farm owned by Luiz de Souza Breves, the Baron of Guarareman. As a young man he moved to Rio de Janeiro and in 1883 started studies of painting and design at the Arts and Crafts Lyceum. Two years later he joined the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro.
In 1886 Visconti received from the hands of Emperor Dom Pedro II his first award : the Silver Medal in Ornaments . In October 1905 after winning the Travel Europe Award, awarded by the National School of Fine Arts, among other contests that gave him recognition as an artist, Eliseu Visconti, received from Francisco Oliveira Passos, the engineer responsible for the construction of the Municipal Theater, the invitation to create the decorative work of the curtain, the frieze of the proscenium and the ceiling of the Room of spectacles.
The decoration consists of a large central panel representing "Music" and two side smaller panels symbolizing "The Lyrical Art" and "Drama" (Poetic Inspiration). Visconti used the pointillist technique, composing a masterfully harmonious whole, with soft tones, clearly impressionistic.
The painting is considered the masterpiece of the artist and is will achieve 100 years in 2016.
The donation of his studies led to the creation of the Theatre Museum of Rio de Janeiro, which was settled in Salão Assyrio in 1951. A vast documentation on the Theater and its performances, as well as an impressive museum collection, are available today to researchers and to the general public in the Documentation Centre of the Municipal Theater.
In one of the correspondences of Eliseu Visconti to Francisco de Oliveira Passos, the artist reveals:
"Always [I cherished] a dream: to create a set of art in an important building."
When performing the design works at the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, Visconti fulfilled his dream and made the Theatre the institution which has the largest collection of his works.
In 2016, the 150th anniversary of the birth of Eliseu Visconti, the team of the Municipal Theater was surprised with a fortunate discovery: a screen of two meters in diameter, untitled and located on the roof of the anteroom in the Governor's Cabin.
After intensive researches in the Theater's documentation and checking the correspondence of the director of the Theater in 1933, Roberto Maia Doyle, the great discovery was confirmed: the author of the work is Eliseu D'Angelo Visconti.
Collection of the Documentation Centre of the Municipal Theater Foundation of Rio de Janeiro - CEDOC / FTMRJ
Curatorship and Text
Fatima Cristina Gonçalves