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Candido Portinari

(1903 - 1962)

The Brazilian painter Cândido Portinari (1903-1962) is best known for his murals, which fuse nativist and expressionist elements in a powerful and individual style. Cândido Portinari was born of Italian immigrant parents in the town of Brodosque in the coffee-rich state of São Paulo. No formal education was available to the boy beyond the first years of grade school. He attributed his interest in art to the fact that at the age of 8 he began helping a house painter. He went to Rio de Janeiro when he was 15 and worked as an artists' apprentice. He was always to approach his work in a disciplined and methodical way, regarding art as a handicraft or skill that could be consciously perfected. Portinari won admission to the National Fine Arts School and in 1928 received the coveted annual travel fellowship to Europe. The experience shook him loose from the academic style he had been taught and brought him into the so-called Brazilian modernist artistic movement.

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