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Independência ou Morte, by Pedro Américo: creation and circulation before ingressing the monument to independence

Grant number: 18/17682-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctorate
Effective date (Start): January 01, 2019
Effective date (End): May 31, 2023
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Museology
Principal researcher:Paulo César Garcez Marins
Grantee:Michelli Cristine Scapol Monteiro
Home Institution: Museu Paulista (MP). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:17/07366-1 - Collect, identify, describe, exhibit: the curatorial cycle and the production of knowledge, AP.TEM
Associated scholarship(s):19/15797-8 - The cry of Ipiranga by the brushes of Pedro Américo: creation, circulation, and reception of Independência ou Morte, BE.EP.PD

Abstract

The purpose of this research project is to investigate and clarify fundamental matters pertaining to the creation, circulation, and critical fortune regarding the oil painting entitled Independencia ou Morte [Independence or Death], by Brazilian artist Pedro Américo de Figueiredo e Mello. Painted in Florence, in 1888, its dimensions reach 415 x 760 cm and it currently resides in the Hall of Honor of the Museu Paulista of the University of São Paulo. It is one of the most celebrated works of this notorious painter and its representation has helped erect the social imaginary surrounding Brazilian independence. Many studies focused on Pedro Américo and this work of art, but it is vital to deepen our understanding of its production in Italy and fill in the existing gaps regarding its circulation prior to its installation in the Monument to the Independence (today Museu Paulista). This task becomes even more relevant as we approach the Independence Bicentennial Celebrations of 2022, when the Museum will be reopened to the public with a renewed exposition. Aiming to contribute to the views and understandings of the museology project of this museum's Hall of Honor - and also to forge a novel approach to this piece of artwork itself - this project intends to analyze the models which served as reference for the artist to devise his painting and its potential connections with the European art production of the time, especially in Italy and France. It also intends to study the painting's critical reception within the exhibitions it was displayed at, and how it was depicted by Brazilian and foreign newspapers and magazines of this period.

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