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Lilia Schwarcz (PLAS Visiting Scholar & Universidade de São Paulo) on "The Sun of Brazil: Nicolas Taunay and the Difficult Images of a Tropical..."

Full title: "The Sun of Brazil: Nicolas Taunay and the Difficult Images of a Tropical Country (1816-1821)"

Location: 219 Burr Hall

Date/Time: 02/15/12 at 12:00 pm - 02/15/12 at 1:00 pm

This lecture will discuss the difficulties and contradictions that a selected group of academic and neoclassic French painters faced when arriving in Brazil at the beginning of the 19th century. At that time, King D. João was spending some time in his American colony, having escaped from the Napoleonic invasion. His main objective, in this matter, was to hire professional artists who had worked for Napoleon and knew how to depict a Royal Court. But problems soon arose: slavery did not match with the ideals of Enlightenment, the Portuguese Court was passing through a very unstable situation, and the material conditions were terrible. Among a group of 15 artists was Nicolas Taunay who found everything strange: the blue of the sky seemed to him "artificial", the sun kept moving, and the green of the forest had too many different tones. Taunay really hated the tropics and found it "very strange" - a distant Arcadia!

Category: PLAS Lecture

Department: Program in Latin American Studies