Cândido Portinari

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Portinari, Cândido


Born Dec. 29, 1903, in Brodósqui, São Paulo; died Feb. 7, 1962, in Rio de Janeiro. Brazilian painter and graphic artist.

Portinari, the son of an Italian farmhand, attended the National School of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro from 1918 to 1928. He spent the following two years in Europe, where he came under the influence of expressionism, surrealism, and the work of Picasso. Beginning in the mid-1930’s, Portinari devoted himself to the realistic portrayal of the life of the common people— Indians, Negroes, farmhands, and the inhabitants of favelas (slums). He often endowed his figures with a lofty and heroic character. His works are marked by powerful generalized forms, soft chiaroscuro, and precise line. Portinari produced easel paintings (Coffee, 1935; Portrait of R. Rolland, 1936), cycles of paintings (Refugees, 1945), murals (at the Ministry of Education in Rio de Janeiro, 1936–45; at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., 1941; at a college in the city of Cataguases, 1948— 49), large panels (War and Peace, 1955, United Nations, New York), and numerous prints.

Portinari was a university professor in Rio de Janeiro from 1936 to 1939. He was awarded national prizes and the International Peace Prize (1950).


Luraghi, E. Disegni di Portinari. Turin, 1955.
References in periodicals archive ?
Other artists also set personal records, including Brazilian Candido Portinari, whose "Navio negreiro" sold for $1.
The Ministry not only heralded Brazil's espousal of modernism: this realisation of Le Corbusier's sketch design brought together an extraordinarily talented team that included Niemeyer, Lucio Costa (subsequently planner for Brasilia), modernist pioneer Affonso Reidy, painter Candido Portinari (responsible for the blue azulejo walls), sculptor Jacques Lipchitz, and a young Burle Marx.
One recent example was the pilfering of US$56 million worth of paintings by Picasso and Brazilian artist Candido Portinari from Sao Paulo's art museum.
In December, Picasso's Portrait Of Suzanne Bloch and O Lavrador de Cafe by Candido Portinari, an influential Brazilian artist, were stolen from the Sao Paulo Museum of Art by three men who used a crowbar and car jack to force open steel doors.
The three-man gang stole "Portrait of Suzanne Bloch" by Pablo Picasso and "The Coffee Worker" by Brazil's Candido Portinari in a heist just after 5am in the Museum of Art of Sao Paulo.
All periods of Brazilian painting are represented including works by Candido Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Tarsila do Amaral and Lasar Segall.
In the capital of Sao Paulo, he worked as a laborer at the Museum of Modem Art, painted numerous tries for the Candido Portinari panels, and let flow the expressionist style he had cultivated in many paintings of his youth.