Cândido Portinari - Latin America New York Tuesday, November 22, 2016 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Collection of Sylvia Kowarick, São Paulo
    Private Collection, New York

  • Literature

    Candido Portinari and João Candido Portinari, ed., Candido Portinari: catálogo raisonné - catalogue raisonné, Rio de Janeiro, 2004, no. 349, p. 237 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Cândido Portinari is considered one of Brazil’s most important neo-realist painters. He was born in Santa Rosa, a small town in the outskirts of São Paulo known for its coffee plantations. At an early age Portinari became the assistant to an artist commissioned to decorate the local church. Recognizing the young painter’s natural ability, the older artist persuaded Portinari’s parents to send him to the National School of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro, where he enrolled at the age of 15. During this time Portinari produced an important body of work that eventually earned him a scholarship to study in Paris in 1928. While in Europe, Portinari absorbed the many artistic styles he experienced, from Renaissance frescoes to Picasso’s Cubism. Interestingly, during this time he scarcely produced any works, for which he was harshly criticized, and in 1930 he returned to Brazil. In 1933, Portinari returned to his birthplace and began an incredibly prolific and pivotal moment in his career. The present lot, Colheita de Café (Coffee Harvest), circa 1933, alludes to a subject matter he would continually explore throughout his oeuvre: life in the land of coffee plantations. Although Portinari depicts the landscape and workers in poverty, his paintings do not emanate a feeling of misery or hardship, but rather depict a faithful representation of the world through his own pictorial style. The rounded bodies impress on us a physicality the artist’s innate understanding of volume – somewhat reminiscent of the Diego Rivera’s mural figures – with somber hues that subtly dramatize the nature of the scene.


Colheita de Café (Coffee Harvest)

inscribed “Declaro que este projeto e de autoria de meu irmão Candido Portinari” Luiz Portinari; also inscribed “Desenho ejecutado por Protinari (projeto [...] para un Escola Pública em Olavia” with other indistinct inscriptions on the reverse
graphite and watercolor on paper
10 5/8 x 13 1/2 in. (27 x 34.3 cm)
Executed circa 1933.

$70,000 - 100,000 

Contact Specialist
Kaeli Deane
Head of Sale, Latin American Art
New York
+1 212 940 1352

Latin America

New York Auction 22 November 2016