Indepth Arts News: |
"Opulence and Devotion : Brazilian Baroque Art"
2001-10-25 until 2002-02-03
University of Oxford, Ashmolean Museum
UK United Kingdom
This is the first exhibition on Britain of Brazilian Baroque
art. Over 50 works have been shipped from Brazil for
display. Full of gilded beauty and virtuoso carving, they
promise to reveal the extraordinary vitality and
expressiveness of this little known and rarely seen art.
On display will be a rich array of painted and gilded
sculpture, silverwork and small altarpieces -- chosen from
both private and public collections. There are charming,
intimate, private altarpieces and oratórios -- carved
cabinets housing images of saints and the Madonna. These
were shown in the houses of well-to-do merchants and
plantation-owners, alongside richly carved furniture,
silverware and porcelain. We also see a grou of unfamilar
black saints, particularly revered by slaves and free people
of African descent.
exhibition, writes, From the late 16th century to the
end of the 18th century, when Brazil was a Portuguese
colony, painting and sculpture was almost entirely
religious in nature. African slaves, who were imported
to work the sugar crops and goldmines, were also
employed in the building and decoration of churches.
Indeed some of the greatest artists and architects of the
period were of mixed race, such as Antônio Francisco
Lisboa (known as Aleijadinho) (c.1738-1814), the son
of a Portuguese architect and an African slave.
The intense spirituality of the altarpieces and the
beautifully carved devotional figures stand out
amongst the Ashmolean's own displays of European
art. It makes the exhibition an unforgettable
The exhibition is part of a broad programme of UK events organised by BrasilConnects celebrating Brazlian art and
culture in 2001. BrasilConnects is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that celebrates and support's Brazil's
most treasured assets by connecting the country's past with its future, its culture with its ecology, and its people
with the world.