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Brasilia: Candido Portinari, an artist for peace

Brasilia, un artista per la pace, Candido Portinari
Brasilia, un artista per la pace, Candido Portinari

An exhibition and a conference to celebrate the work of Candido Portinari. The initiative was organized by the Italian Embassy in Brasilia. The exhibition displays 28 etchings by the artist of Italian descent, whose parents emigrated from the Veneto Region at the end of the 19th century, and who has become one of Brazil’s greatest 20th century painters. The exhibition is hosted in the Embassy’s Sala Nervi and puts together original works made with different techniques from different phases of the artist’s life. The works include a portrait of his father, Christmas cards, an engraving of the very famous painting “Retirantes” (Migrants) and illustrations from the books “Memorias postumas de Braz Cubas” and “O Alienista”, both by Machado de Assis, one of Brazil’s greatest writers.

“We are honored to host the works of the great Maestro Portinari, whose relationship with the Italian Embassy, which was in Rio at the time, dates back to the beginning of his career,” said Ambassador Francesco Azzarello, when thanking the artist’s son, Joao Candido, the director of the Portinari Project, for his collaboration. Moreover, the Conference “Candido Portinari: from the Coffee Plantation to the UN”, which was attended by Undersecretary Manlio Di Stefano, who was on an official visit to Brasilia, highlighted that “Portinari is included in the Pantheon of contemporary international art giants: the offspring of a complex historical period and the inspirer of a wholly Brazilian painting movement,” said Ambassador Azzarello. “He gave voice to the people, to inequalities and poverty, with an underlying inspiration imbued with a spirituality and religiosity defined ‘moving’ by critics.” He added: “His colossal last work ‘War and Peace’ bears witness to his unrelenting commitment to peace through culture. Meaningfully, the work stands out in the UN headquarters in New York and unfortunately, today more than ever, is extremely topical.”

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