By Ciara Long, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The National Museum of Fine Arts, in Rio de Janeiro, presents, since Friday (December 23rd), a public exhibition on the French Artistic Mission in Brazil. The exhibit will run until March and displays over fifty works of art.
The exhibition celebrates a French artistic mission that took place two hundred years ago, bringing an entourage of foreign artists to Brazil to implement the teaching of arts and to spread a new aesthetic style.
Featuring fifty works by these artists, produced both in Brazil and upon their return to Europe, the exhibition commemorates the mission’s bicentennial. With no formal historic record of the period, historians have learned about the French artistic mission through the works and depictions that it produced.
The four parts of the exhibition show works portraying the Portuguese Royal family’s departure from Portugal, the artists’ arrivals, their meetings with local artists and works produced by the movement itself.
The display features paintings, studies and sculptures by a range of artists including Taunay, Leandro Joaquim, Marc Ferrez, Pradier, Marc Ferrez, Grandjean de Montigny and Corrado Giaquinto.
The mission was led by Joaquim Lebreton, an intellectual who had been appointed Minister for Fine Arts during the French Revolution, but fled to Brazil during the European Restoration after being removed from office.
Lebreton was invited to Brazil by the Portuguese Royal family, and in 1816, Dom Joao VI and his minister Antonio de Araujo Azevedo tasked Lebreton with the artistic mission to address education concerns.
Some of the pieces in the exhibition are works that Lebreton personally transported from Europe when he arrived, such as Italian artist Francesco Bartolozzi’s sketch of the Embarkation of Dom João VI for Brazil.
The exhibition will continue until March 12th, and is included in the R$8 museum entry fee. The museum is open Tuesday to Friday from 10AM until 5PM, and 1PM to 5PM on weekends and public holidays. Entrance is free on Sundays.