Brazilian painters are an important part of the history and culture of this amazing nation. The history of a nation's cultural development may be charted through its art. The arrival of the Portuguese royalty in 1808 brought Neoclassicism, Romanticism, and Realism as influences to the country. After 1889, Modernism arrived, although it was rapidly joined by other trends (relatively speaking). 1922 brought many new influences into the mix that remain powerful imprints on the country's art even today. It is hard to choose only five painters as hallmarks of this evolution. The Brazil facts are that for every single painter who defined a movement there are many others behind them who develop the style further. That said, here are my choices for the top five most influential.
Manuel da Costa Ataíde - The Baroque period was a lengthy one. Looking at Brazil facts makes it clear that there are a large number of beloved individuals from this period. Perhaps the one that should be singled out here is Manuel da Costa Ataíde. He not only was the head of the first school that taught painting but his interpretation of Rococo / Baroque style fused with it an awareness of the mulato elements of Brazilian culture that those before him ignored.
José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior - A member of the Realism movement, Almeida Junior, as he is also known, was one of the most important Brazilian painters of his age. Instead of following others who went about painting myths, historical events, or religious subjects he looked to the land around him, painting farmers, the caipira, and other subjects that act like a snapshot of an age gone by.
Emiliano Di Cavalcanti - Although style might be unconsciously influenced by many things, the Brazil facts indicate that Di Cavalcanti attempted to create a more native and natural Brazilian form of artistic expression. He used many forms to create his works and was often inspired by his wife in his middle period. His latter years were focused on nationalism and unique aspects of his native land.
Anita Catarina Malfatti - Women were discouraged from being non-traditional which makes Anita Catarina Malfatti is important in several ways. She was a traditionally educated artist with European renown by the time she returned to her native country. Her art proved to be a scandal because at the time Brazilian painters did not use expressionist or Modernist styles. While the initial reaction to her art is thought to have stunted her personal development, future painters were all influenced by the style she brought back with her.
Cândido Portinari - Pushing neo-realism and possessing an amazing prolific tendency (over five thousand pieces over a lifetime), places Cândido Portinari among the top painters in Brazil facts. He may well be the greatest artist that Brazil has ever seen. His work is scattered world wide, including the 1953 pieces called “War and Peace” that exist in the entrance hall of the United Nations in New York.