Pinacoteca de São Paulo, Brazil

The Pinacoteca de São Paulo is a museum of the visual arts with an emphasis on Brazilian art from the 19th century until today. Founded in 1905 by the Government of the State of Sao Paulo, belongs to the State Department of Culture and is the oldest art museum in the city. It is housed in the old building of Arts and Crafts School, designed at the end of the 19th century by the Ramos de Azevedo Architectural Office. By 1990s the building underwent a substantial refurbishment planned by architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha. The Pinacoteca original collection was formed by 26 works from what was then the State Museum, today Paulista Museum of the University of São Paulo. Pinacoteca spent its first 100 years gathering art works and has built up a significant collection that currently holds about 9,000 art works. It has gradually became also an contemporary art museum.

The Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo (Portuguese for “pinacotheca of the state of São Paulo”) is one of the most important art museums in Brazil. It is housed in a 1900 building in Jardim da Luz, Downtown São Paulo, designed by Ramos de Azevedo and Domiziano Rossi to be the headquarters of the Lyceum of Arts and Crafts. It is the oldest art museum in São Paulo, founded on December 24, 1905, and established as a state museum since 1911.

Pinacoteca presents about 30 exhibitions and receives approximately 500,000 visitors per year. The first floor receives temporary exhibitions and the second the long-term exhibition from the collection. The central area holds the Contemporary Art Octagon Project and on the ground floor are the technical facilities, the auditorium and the restaurant. Also on the second floor is the Tactile Gallery with 12 art works specially mounted so that visitors with visual handicaps can appreciate them independently, touching and obtaining information by means of labels and texts in braille, as well as with an audio guide.The work developed by the Pinacoteca aims to improve public experiences with visual arts by studying, preserving and informing the public about its holdings, buildings and history, also by consolidating and increasing its collections and by encouraging artistic production.

The Pinacoteca has a wide-ranging collection of Brazilian art, mainly noted for its vast assemblage of 19th-century paintings and sculptures, one of the largest in the country, as well as for a number of iconic Brazilian Modernist artworks. The collection also includes a department of works on paper, European paintings and sculptures from 19th-century artists, decorative arts, etc.

The Pinacoteca do Estado maintains an expressive and varied collection of Brazilian art, mainly of the 19th and 20th centuries. Among the more than seven thousand works maintained by the institution are paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, tapestries, objects of decorative art and a select set of imagery from the colonial period, capable of providing a broad panorama of national art.

In the segment referring to the nineteenth century, certainly the most consistent and important nucleus of the institution, it is possible to get in touch with the largest collection of Almeida Júnior’s works. Between landscapes, portraits and scenes of interior, stand out the celebrated works Caipira Picando Smoke, Saudade and Reading. The still life of Pedro Alexandrino occupies an entire room, where stand out Kitchen in the Roça, Plucked Peru and Asparagus. There are also landscapes of Antônio Parreiras and Benedito Calixto, as the Bay of São Vicente; Historical paintings and genre scenes by Oscar Pereira da Silva (Time of Music and Childhood by Giotto), portraits of Bertha Worms and Henrique Bernardelli, the Maternity screen by Eliseu Visconti, works by Castagneto, João Batista da Costa and Pedro Weingärtner among many others. The collection is especially important for the outstanding number of works by São Paulo’s academic painters.

In spite of its emphasis on academic art, the collection has several works by modernist artists such as Victor Brecheret, Tarsila do Amaral, Lasar Segall, Anita Malfatti, Cândido Portinari, Di Cavalcanti, Clóvis Graciano, Francisco Rebolo and Túlio Mugnaini. Throughout the 20th century, he also incorporated abstraction works of different extractions – Waldemar Cordeiro, Samson Flexor, Arcângelo Ianelli -, as well as contemporary works such as Nuno Ramos, Paulo Monteiro and Paulo Pasta.

Complementing the collection are a significant nucleus of eighteenth-century European paintings and French sculptures, notably the set of nine bronzes by Auguste Rodin (Torso of the Shadow, Bacanal, Genius of the Eternal Rest) and other works by Aristide Maillol, Medardo Rosso, Antoine Bourdelle And Niki de Saint Phalle.

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