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 They are historical documents that enable us to visualize the local landscape, adapted for the activities of its inhabitants.
Boqueirão Lagoon and Carioca Aqueduct (1750/1798) by Leandro JoquimMuseu Histórico Nacional
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.
Visit of an English fleet to Rio de Janeiro (1750/1798) by Leandro JoaquimMuseu Histórico Nacional
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.
Maritime procession in front of Lázaros Hospital (1750/1798) by Leandro JoaquimMuseu Histórico Nacional
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.
Whale fishing in Guanabara Bay (1750/1798) by Leandro JoaquimMuseu Histórico Nacional
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.
Glória Church and Beach (1750/1798) by Leandro JoaquimMuseu Histórico Nacional
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.
Igreja da Glória (2017) by Adriana Bandeira CordeiroMuseu Histórico Nacional
The church still exists, but today the Flamengo Embankment is further from the sea.
Military Review at the Largo do Paço (1750/1798) by Leandro JoaquimMuseu Histórico Nacional
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.
Chafariz do Mestre Valentim e Praça 15 (2017) by Adriana Bandeira CordeiroMuseu Histórico Nacional
The fountain of Master Valentim and the Imperial Palace still stand out in the center of Rio de Janeiro.
President of Brazil
Minister of State for Culture
President of Brazilian Museums Institute
Marcelo Mattos Araújo
Director of National History Museum
Paulo Knauss de Mendonça
Américo David Aurélio
Vania Drummond Bonelli
MHN – 2017