Pedro Américo de Figueiredo e Mello (1843–1905)

A Brazilian romantic painter, designer, teacher, caricaturist, writer, Américo was born into a family of musicians. He began drawing at a young age and he accompanied the French naturalist Jean Brunet on a scientific expedition to northeast Brazil in 1852. In 1855, he moved to Rio de Janeiro and studied at the Colégio Pedro II and the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, and between 1859 and 1864, he studied at the at the École National Superiéure des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Ingres, Flandrin and Vernet. He returned to Brazil in 1864, and as a professor of aesthetics, art history and archeology, he alternated between Rio de Janeiro and Florence where he completed many of his works. Considered one of the most important painters of Brazil, his interest in Biblical and mythological subject matters derived from his studies in Europe, and he completed a number of works dedicated to such themes with pomp and flamboyance. He is, however, best known as an exponent of political and historical painting of Brazil, and was one of the country's first nationalist artists. He is most remembered for his Batalha do Avaí completed in 1877.









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