Contemporary Dialogues, Brazil National Museum of Fine Arts

In commemoration of the national date of France, the National Museum of Fine Arts opened, together with the Consulate General of France in Rio de Janeiro, the Contemporary Dialogues exhibition. The show brings together about 100 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints. The visitor will be able to glimpse the fruits of the rich and diverse cultural intertwining between Brazil and France over decades.

The Contemporary Dialogues show gathers around 100 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, and is curated by Claudia Saldanha and MNBA researcher and director, Monica Xexéo. The exhibition is an excerpt from the Museum’s collection and the works on display range from the 1920s to the contemporary, reflecting some angles of French influence in the experience of modern and contemporary Brazilian artists.

The modules run through centers focusing on artists who, after receiving awards, were able to improve their work in prestigious academic institutions in France and also, on the other hand, the looks of foreign artists who, before arriving in Brazil, suffered French influence, fundamental for the transformation of the aesthetics here.

In the exhibition, works of names like Tarsila do Amaral, Di Cavalcanti, Flavio Shiró, Antonio Bandeira, Gonçalo Ivo, Sérvulo Esmeraldo, Luiz Áquila, Jorge Mori, and Lasar Segall, Maria Leontina can be seen.

The National Museum of Fine Arts (MNBA) is an art museum located in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It concentrates the largest collection of works of art of the 19th century, being one of the most important museums of its kind in the country.

Located in the historical center of Rio de Janeiro in an eclectic architecture building designed in 1908 by the architect Adolfo Morales de los Rios to host the National School of Fine Arts, heir of the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Fine Arts / Ibram / MinC was built during the urban upgrades carried out by Mayor Pereira Passos in what it was then the Federal Capital of the country.

Created officially in 1937 by the decree of President Getúlio Vargas, it occupies an area of 18,000 m2 and is the most important art museum in the country. It brings together a collection of seventy thousand items among paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, objects, documents and books, constituting itself as a radiating center of knowledge and dissemination of Brazilian art.

The museum’s collection began with the set of works of art brought by Dom João VI, in 1808, and was expanded throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries with the incorporation of the National School collection and other acquisitions, and today it has about 15,000 pieces, including paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints by Brazilian and foreign artists, as well as a collection of decorative art, furniture, folk art and a set of pieces of African art.

The bicentennial Collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts originated from three distinct sets of works: the paintings brought by Joaquim Lebreton, head of the French Artistic Mission, who arrived in Rio de Janeiro in 1816; the works belonging to or produced here by members of the Mission, among them Nicolas-Antoine Taunay, Jean-Batiste Debret, Grandjean de Montigny, Charles Pradier and the Ferrez brothers; and the pieces of the Collection D. João VI, left by him in Brazil when returning to Portugal in 1821. These collections have been enriched by important donations and acquisitions, such as the bust of Antínoo, a rare marble archaeological piece donated by the Empress D. Teresa Cristina to the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in 1880.