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Eliseu Visconti

(1866 - 1944)

Eliseu Visconti, born Eliseo d'Angelo Visconti (Italy, 1866 - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1944) is a painter, cartoonist and Brazilian teacher. He is considered the most important impressionist painter of Brazil. He enters in 1884 the Liceu Imperial de Artes e Ofícios do Rio de Janeiro, where he has as master Victor Meireles. Parallel to his studies in the Liceu, he fits in the Imperial Academia de Belas Artes, working his art with Victor Meireles, Henrique Bernardelli, Rodolfo Amoedo and Jose Maria de Medeiros. During his stay in the Academia (during which he received a gold medal in 1888), he took an active part in movements which aimed at the renewal of teaching methods, and amongst others those which created the Ateliê Livre , with the assistance of João Zeferino of Costa, Rodolfo Amoêdo, Henrique and Rodolpho Bernardelli. Visconti won an award from the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in 1892, and so entered the École de Beaux-Arts de Paris the following year, where he obtains excellent classification in the admission exam. He also attends the Académie Julian and the École of Decorative Arts, where he is pupil of Eugene Grasset. One sees it in the living rooms of the National company of the Art schools and the Société of the French Artists; he presents to the Exposition Universelle 1900 tables Gioventú and Oréadas , for which he receives a silver medal. Going back to Brazil, Visconti there carries out important exhibitions, in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, and obtains the first classification in a contest for the making of postal stamps for the Brazilian Casa da Moeda. He is the initiator of the art nouveau in Brazil. He returns once to Europe, where he presents to the Living room of Paris of 1905, the portrait of the artist Nicolina Vaz de Assis. In this same year, he is invited to carry out various decorative works of painting for the Theatro Municipal of Rio de Janeiro. He works from his studio in Paris. In June 1906, he is selected to replace Henrique Bernardelli in the teaching of painting at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes, the successor of old Imperial Academia, a position which he will occupy only the following year, after his return to Brazil. Among his disciples, during this period as a teacher which lasted until 1913, were the painters Marques Junior and Henrique Cavalleiro. Go back to this time decorative works which Visconti executed for the Biblioteca Nacional (Rio de Janeiro) and the gold medal received in the International Exhibition of Saint-Louis (Saint Louis World's Fair), in 1904, for the table "Recompensa de São Sebastião" (see external links). The museum of Santiago of the Chile acquires in 1912 one of his works, "Sonho Místico" (Mystical Dream). In 1913, Eliseu Visconti returns to Europe in order to carry out new work in decorative matter for the "foyer" of the Theatro Municipal do Rio de Janeiro, and devotes himself to it until 1916. However, it will have to await the end of the First World War to reach Brazilian grounds. In 1922, with the triptych Lar, he receives the Medal of Honor in the Exposition of the Centenary of Independence (Rio de Janeiro), and carries out the following year the decoration of the hall of the municipal council of the old federal district and, in 1924, the panel concerning the signature of the first Republican Constitution, for the old federal Room, also in Rio de Janeiro.

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