RIAN

A feminine trace in caricature

Nair de Teffé (Museu da República collection) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

Nair de Teffé was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1886 and as a baby she moved to Europe, where she remained until 1905. In France she was able to improve her artistic streak - she sang, played the piano, did theater and painted.

[Nair de Teffé (RIAN) signature] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

She was known for her caricatures, especially of politicians and artists. She signed Rian - Nair to the contrary. She was one of the first female caricaturists in the world!

Teatro Municipal (Museu da República collection) (1908) by Augusto MaltaMuseu Histórico Nacional

On July 14, 1909, the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro opens to the public and, shortly after the inauguration, the French actress Réjane performs with her company in an extended series of presentations

Caricature of Réjane (Biblioteca Nacional collection) (1909) by Nair de TefféMuseu Histórico Nacional

It was the cue for Rian to publish a caricature of Réjane in Fon-Fon magazine, which marked the beginning of a series of works of the Belle Époque in the illustrated press.

As a result of the success of Réjane's caricature, Rian received invitations from other periodicals, including French ones.

Caricature of woman (Biblioteca Nacional collection) (1910) by Nair de TefféMuseu Histórico Nacional

In the following year, Rian inaugurated the “Galeria das Elegências” at Fon-Fon, where the society of the time paraded under her pen.

Nair de Tefé (Museu Mariano Procópio Foundation collection) by Georgina de AlbuquerqueMuseu Histórico Nacional

Rian's witty humor coined the expression “train of the husbands” and “club of the diaries” to refer to the husbands who descended and climbed the Petrópolis mountain range daily to “clock in” at the offices of the then Federal District.

Nair de Teffé (Museu da República collection) (1913) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

In Paris, she attended the famous Julian Academy, where she studied with renowned professors. According to Herman Lima and the artist herself, her greatest inspiration was Daniel De Losques.

[Caricature of French actress Jeanne Bourgeois, known as Mistinguett] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

Theater was also very present in the life of Nair, who created her own company, Troupe Rian. Coelho Neto wrote "Miss Love" especially for her to act.

Ouvidor street, Rio de Janeiro, RJ. Brazil (circa 1890) by Ferrez, Marc Instituto Moreira Salles

Nair started exhibiting her designs in the shop windows of Rua do Ouvidor, considered the most elegant street in Rio de Janeiro of the time.

Exhibition of caricatures by Nair de Teffé (Biblioteca Nacional collection) (1912) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

In 1912, the Jornal do Commercio organized an individual exhibition at its headquarters of 200 drawings by Nair de Teffé, the proceeds of which would be destined for the Children's Hospital.

Hermes da Fonseca (Museu da República collection) (1908) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

Despite a heavy rainfall on the day of the opening, the President of the Republic Hermes da Fonseca attended the exhibition.

Medal of President Mal. Hermes Medal of President Mal. Hermes by L. BottéeMuseu Histórico Nacional

Nair's life would change dramatically in 1913, when she married the then President of the Republic, Marshal Hermes da Fonseca.

News about Marshal Hermes da Fonseca and Nair de Teffé (Biblioteca Nacional collection) (1913) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

News about Marshal Hermes and Nair at January 13, 1913. His former wife, Orsina da Fonseca, had died at November 30, 1912.

Medal of Mal. Hermes da Fonseca Medal of Mal. Hermes da Fonseca by A. G. GirardetMuseu Histórico Nacional

The age difference between the bride and groom and the marshal's recent widowhood caused this relationship to become a controversial event that was much talked about at the time.

News about Marshal Hermes da Fonseca and Nair de Teffé engagement (Biblioteca Nacional collection) (1913) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

News about Marshal Hermes and Nair engagement at September 6, 1913.

Marshal Hermes da Fonseca and Nair de Teffé wedding (Biblioteca Nacional collection) (1913) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

Though Nair would occupy the position of first lady and the halls of Catete for less than a year, it was enough time for her to leave her indelible mark on history.

Hermes da Fonseca and Nair de Teffé (Museu da República collection) (1913-12-09) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

Of the various events and soirees that marked her time at the Palace, the most emblematic would undoubtedly be the farewell party of the presidency on October 26, 1914.

Nair de Teffé (Museu da República collection) (1913) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

"Corta-Jaca", de Chiquinha Gonzaga, gravada entre 1910-1912 pelo Grupo Chiquinha Gonzaga
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The noble halls of the Palácio do Catete were occupied by the sound of the maxixe "Corta-jaca" by Chiquinha Gonzaga, performed on the guitar by Catulo da Paixão Cearense.

[Caricature of Rui Barbosa] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

The famous soiree would be the final spark igniting the wrath of opponents of the Marshal, such as Rui Barbosa, who would describe Corta-Jaca as “the lowest, the most foul, the grossest of all wild dances, the twin sister of the drummer, cateretê and samba ”.

[Caricature of Rui Barbosa] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

At that time women did not discuss politics, so it was the brushes that gave the floor to the First Lady. From this period, there are many caricatures of politicians who frequented the Palácio do Catete. Nair responds to Rui Barbosa's criticisms with special sagacity: she draws the senator in a playful manner, carrying a top hat in his hands like a beggar.

[Nair de Teffé and family on a return trip by ship to Brazil] (1921) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

After the presidential term, the couple move to Petrópolis where, in 1915, Nair would suffer a buggy accident that left her with serious injuries. As a result, they move to Europe the following year in search of appropriate medical treatment and only return to Brazil in 1920.

[Nair de Teffé (RIAN) signature] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

“The sadness that overwhelmed me with the disease was heightened by the pain of seeing my delicate companion, friend and husband having suffered so many unfair campaigns, led to ridicule by the simple fact that in the intimacy of Catete Palace, one day, I had played the famous Corta-Jaca of the distinguished pianist/composer Chiquinha Gonzaga. I never thought that that meeting, which opened the halls of society to Brazilian popular music, at the time would be so criticized in a derogatory way. Today, thanks to Chiquinha Gonzaga and Corta-Jaca, samba, serestas and maxixe, it's glory, it's glory… it's a luxury… ”

(FONSECA, Nair de Teffé. The truth about the 22 revolution. Rio de Janeiro: Portinho Cavalcanti, 1974, p.71)

[Caricatures of Artur da Silva Bernardes and Nilo Peçanha] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

The "Republican Reaction"

The “Republican Reaction” was a political movement that broke out in the midst of the crisis of presidential succession in the 1922 elections. In the early 1920s, the oligarchic “coffee-with-milk” policy was already showing clear signs of bankruptcy and the alternation of power between the states of São Paulo and Minas Gerais no longer contemplated the needs and aspirations of the other regional elites. Faced with this scenario of dissatisfaction, the states excluded from the dispute - Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Bahia, Pernambuco and the Federal District - would gather their support around the figure of Nilo Peçanha, a Fluminense politician who would strongly oppose the candidate from Minas Gerais Artur Bernardes.

In this emblematic election, the polarization among presidential candidates would be symbolically represented by the insignia that both candidates and supporters would display on their lapels:

White carnations for supporters of Bernardes

Red carnations for supporters of Peçanha.

This movement would inaugurate a way of practicing politics based on electoral campaigns supported by advertisements with popular appeal.

[Nair de Teffé (RIAN) signature] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

'In England, in 1400: war of the two roses; in Brazil, in 1921: war of the two carnations (red carnation and white carnation).' That joke earned me the gift of a gold and a silver carnation, carved at the jewelry store Rezende, which were delivered to me in a rich case of garnet with the inscription: 'Rian, first among equals', offered by the Engineering Club.”

(FONSECA, Nair de Teffé. The truth about the 22 revolution. Rio de Janeiro: Portinho Cavalcanti, 1974, p.16)

Hermes da Fonseca and Nair de Teffé wedding (museu da República collection) (1913-12-08) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

In the midst of the crisis of presidential succession of 1922 and the Revolt of the 18 of the Fort of Copacabana enacted by the “Lieutenant’s Movement”, Hermes da Fonseca would be arrested and would only be released in January of 1923. The marshal would pass away in September of the same year, leaving young Nair a widow.

[Caricature of waiters] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

Nair isolated herself after the death of Hermes da Fonseca, but in 1929 she resumed public life. From 1928 to 1932 she chaired the Associação de Ciências e Letras de Petrópolis, which was transformed by her into the Academia Petropolitana de Letras. In 1929 she entered the Academia Fluminense de Letras and participated in the First Salão Fluminense de Belas Artes.

[Caricature of Procópio Ferreira] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

With the death of her parents in the 1930s, Nair leaves Petrópolis and returns to Rio de Janeiro.

[Caricatures of Marcos Carneiro de Mendonça e Ana Amélia Queirós Carneiro de Mendonça] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

In 1932, she builds the Rian, which would be one of the most beautiful cinemas in the city, all in art deco and facing the Copacabana sea. However, Nair finds it difficult to manage it and, as of 1946, the Rian's management passes to Luiz Severiano Ribeiro.

[Caricature of President Eurico Gaspar Dutra] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

Nair de Teffé lost the inheritance she received from her parents because, as an artist, she had no administrative sensibilities.

Nair de Teffé (Arquivo Nacional collection) (1941) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

With few resources, living on Marshal Hermes' modest pension, she moved to Niterói with her three adopted children.

Leiteria Brasil: urban types of Niterói by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

[Caricature of Washington Luís Pereira de Sousa] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

She remained isolated and forgotten until, in the 50s, Herman Lima sought her out and invited her to redo some caricatures that had deteriorated over time.

[Caricature of President Juscelino Kubitscheck de Oliveira] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

From this episode, the artist who was asleep awakens and Nair produces caricatures of politicians and artists of this period.

[Caricature of Marshal Manuel Deodoro da Fonseca] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

For this reason, we have caricatures of Juscelino Kubitschek, Fidel Castro, Carlos Lacerda, Café Filho, Castelo Branco, etc.

[Caricature of Fidel Castro] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

We believe that the caricatures of this period - the remakes and those of the politicians of that time - are precisely those that are part of the collection of the National Historical Museum, since they were donated by her in 1964.

[Caricature of Carlos Lacerda] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

[Caricature of Jânio da Silva Quadros] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

[Caricatures of Francisco (Baby) Pignatary and Princess Ira von Furstemberg] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

[Caricature of Dwight David Eisenhower, USA President] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

[Caricature of Marechal Henrique Duffles Teixeira Lott] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

Nair de Teffé (Arquivo Nacional collection) (1970-05-27) by AlliMuseu Histórico Nacional

In the 60s and 70s, Nair de Teffé received several honors from civil society: in 1960 the Humorists' Hall opened with a conference at MNBA (National Museum of Fine Arts). In 1961, Revista do Livro published a reprint by Herman Lima on Nair de Teffé.

Nair de Teffé (Arquivo Nacional collection) (1967-10-19) by MiltonMuseu Histórico Nacional

In 1967 she participates in a program on TV Tupi, in which she does a live caricature. In 1969, the Museum of Image and Sound - MIS - records her testimony for posterity.

Nair de Teffé (Arquivo Nacional collection) (1970-05-27) by AlliMuseu Histórico Nacional

In 1970 Nair is invited to preside over a ceremony at the Catete Palace when the Museum of the Republic receives a collection of presidential medals. In 1979, the Cultural Activities Foundation of Niterói honors her with an exhibition, autograph night, and documentary.

Nair de Teffé (Arquivo Nacional collection) (1967) by MiltonMuseu Histórico Nacional

Still in 1979, she is honored by the Mackenzie Humor and Comics Salon, in São Paulo, and the carnival group “Canarinhos de Laranjeiras” parades with the theme “The Grace of Rian in the Old Republic”.

[Caricature of Princess Margaret of England's wedding] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

Nair never forgot Marshal Hermes da Fonseca, her great love. She always considered him wronged by his political peers.

"A verdade sobre a Revolução de 22" book cover (1974) by UnknownMuseu Histórico Nacional

In 1974, at the age of 88, she launched the book "The Truth about the Revolution of 22", an apology to the Marshal, in which she reports her life trajectory alongside Hermes da Fonseca and the political events of 1922.

[Caricature of Marshal Hermes Rodrigues da Fonseca] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

[Nair de Teffé picture] (1977) by Ubirajara Mota Lima RibeiroMuseu Histórico Nacional

Ubirajara Ribeiro in 1977 draws the portrait of Nair de Teffé with watercolor, gouache and pen and offers it to the caricaturist.

[Caricature of President Humberto de Alencar Castelo Branco] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

Only in 1979 did the Figueiredo government authorize that Nair de Teffé receive a pension for which she qualified as an ex-first lady, which she only enjoyed for 2 years.

[Rivadávia Corrêa's wedding caricature] by Nair de Teffé (RIAN)Museu Histórico Nacional

Nair de Teffé passed away on June 10, 1981, the day she turned 95. She was buried beside Marshal Hermes. The first female Brazilian cartoonist, Nair left a rich artistic legacy, a testament to her talent and boldness.

Nair de Teffé (Arquivo Nacional collection) (1970-05-27) by AlliMuseu Histórico Nacional

"If you come to cry with pretense
Next to my grave,
of my musty coffin,
I make your caricature"

(Verses of Nair recited in an interview with Revista Domingo, of Jornal do Brasil, on 9/11/1977)

Credits: Story

Curadoria:
Adriana Bandeira Cordeiro
Bárbara Deslandes Primo
Daniella Gomes dos Santos
Maria Isabel Ribeiro Lenzi

Agradecimentos:
Cliff Korman
Jacqueline Silva
Maria do Carmo Rainho
Rosane Carmanini Ferraz
Sérgio Augusto Vicente
Silvia Pinho
Arquivo Nacional
Biblioteca Nacional
Fundação Museu Mariano Procópio
Instituto Moreira Salles
Museu da República

Referências bibliográficas:
Atlas Histórico do Brasil. Verbete Reação Republicana. FGV/CPDOC. Disponível em: https://atlas.fgv.br/verbetes/reacao-republicana. Acesso em 22 fev. 2021.

ENCICLOPÉDIA Itaú Cultural de Arte e Cultura Brasileiras. Rian. São Paulo: Itaú Cultural, 2020. Disponível em: http://enciclopedia.itaucultural.org.br/pessoa208704/rian Acesso em: 28 de Dez. 2020. Verbete da Enciclopédia.

FONSECA, Nair de Teffé. A verdade sobre a revolução de 22. Rio de Janeiro: Portinho Cavalcanti, 1974.

JORNAL O MALHO. Rio de Janeiro: edição 0587, p.7, 13 dez. 1913. Disponível em: http://memoria.bn.br/docreader/116300/26154. Acesso em: 23 fev. 2021.

NOGUEIRA, Natania. “Rian: caricatura e pioneirismo feminino no Brasil” In: Anais do XXVI Simpósio Nacional de História – ANPUH. São Paulo, julho 2011.

O IMPARCIAL : DIARIO ILLUSTRADO DO RIO DE JANEIRO (RJ) - 1912 A 1919. Rio de Janeiro: edição n.º 42, p. 3, 14 jan. 1913. Disponível em http://memoria.bn.br/DocReader/docreader.aspx?bib=107670_01&pasta=ano%20191&pesq=nair&pagfis=477. Acesso em: 01 mar. 2021.

O IMPARCIAL : DIARIO ILLUSTRADO DO RIO DE JANEIRO (RJ) - 1912 A 1919. Rio de Janeiro: edição n.º 277, p. 1, 07 set. 1913. Disponível em http://memoria.bn.br/DocReader/DocReader.aspx?bib=107670_01&Pesq=nair&pagfis=3539. Acesso em: 01 mar. 2021.

REVISTA "FON FON: SEMANARIO ALEGRE, POLITICO, CRITICO E ESPUSIANTE". Rio de Janeiro: edição n.º 31, p. 40, 31 jul. 1909. Disponível em http://memoria.bn.br/DocReader/259063/3213. Acesso em: 23 fev. 2021.

REVISTA "FON FON: SEMANARIO ALEGRE, POLITICO, CRITICO E ESPUSIANTE". Rio de Janeiro: edição n.º 37, p. 17, 10 set. 1910. Disponível em http://memoria.bn.br/DocReader/259063/5186. Acesso em: 23 fev. 2021.

REVISTA "FON FON: SEMANARIO ALEGRE, POLITICO, CRITICO E ESPUSIANTE". Rio de Janeiro: edição n.º 24, p. 23, 15 jun. 1912. Disponível em http://memoria.bn.br/DocReader/259063/10297. Acesso em: 23 fev. 2021.

RODRIGUES, Antonio Edmilson Martins. Verbete TEFÉ, Nair de. FGV/CPDOC. Disponível em: http://cpdoc.fgv.br/sites/default/files/verbetes/primeira-republica/TEF%C3%89,%20Nair%20de.pdf Acesso em: 22 fev. 2021.

SILVA, Ivanete Paschoalotto da; SIMILI, Ivana Guilherme. “Nair de Teffé: uma narrativa biográfica para as mulheres dos séculos XIX e XX” In: Diálogos & Saberes, Mandaguari, v.7, n.1, p.121-134, 2011. 

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