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CULTURE COLLECTIVE: Brazilian Painter Candido Portinari

Candido Portinari (December 29, 1903 – February 6, 1962) was a famous Brazilian painter who is known for his influential neo-realism style.


Portinari was born into a poor Italian immigrant family on a coffee plantation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At only eight years of age, Portinari began working as a house painter. At the age of 15, he moved to Rio de Janeiro and began working as an artists’ apprentice. Eventually, in 1928, he was admitted into the National School of Fine Arts, which is where he began to develop his unique artistic style.


Throughout his life, Portinari painted more than five thousand canvases. Much of his work depicts the realities and struggles of everyday life for the common people in Brazil. Portinari has been quoted saying, “I am the Son of the Red Earth. I decided to paint the Brazilian reality, naked and crude as it is.”


Some of Portinari’s most remarkable paintings include (as depicted below) Discovery of the Land, Northeastern Migrants, and Coffee. What are your impressions of this artist’s works?


Click here to read more about Candido Portinari.

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