[Panorama do Para em Doze Vistas / Desenhadas Por J.L. Righini / C. Wiegandt]. Joseph Leon RIGHINI.
[Panorama do Para em Doze Vistas / Desenhadas Por J.L. Righini / C. Wiegandt]
[Panorama do Para em Doze Vistas / Desenhadas Por J.L. Righini / C. Wiegandt]
[Panorama do Para em Doze Vistas / Desenhadas Por J.L. Righini / C. Wiegandt]
Early Lithographs from Brazil
Para, C. Wiegandt, [c. 1867].

[Panorama do Para em Doze Vistas / Desenhadas Por J.L. Righini / C. Wiegandt].

Set of 10 (of 12) lithographs, each image measuring 23.5 x 30 cms. on a leaf measuring 30.5 x 42.5 cms. many signed in the image J. Leon Righini and below the image Lithographia C. Wiegandt Para [nd]. All tinted in varying shades of ochre ranging from pale yellow to brown and one, exceptionally, in green. All uniformly matted.

A very rare set of early lithographs, depicting the northern Brazilian city of Belém and the region of Pará after Joseph Léon Righini (c.1820-1884). A native of Turin, Giuseppe (or Joseph) Léon Righini (c.1820-1884) came to Brazil about 1856 as a set designer for the theatrical company of businessman José Maria Ramonda. In Brazil, he lived in several important provincial capitals, including Salvador, Recife, São Luís, and Belém, working as a painter and a teacher of painting. Righini has been called “the best foreign painter to portray the Amazonian landscape in the 19th century,” “the only important traveling artist of Italian origin” in Brazil, and “the greatest talent of the last wave of artists who portrayed Brazil around the 1860s.” [Translated from Corrêa do Lago, p. 208]. Fourteen paintings by Righini were featured in the “O olhar distante” [Distant View] exhibition (São Paulo, 2000), which recognized him as one of the most important artists working in Brazil in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Situated on the River Pará, the city of Belém served as an important gateway to the Amazon River. With the opening of Amazonian ports to international navigation in 1867, it became one of the largest trade centers in northern Brazil. The economic development of the region, which had been  stagnating due to several epidemics, was rebounding from the growth in rubber prices in the region around the time Righini’s work was published.

 Righini’s lithographs represent a developing city, a work in progress of rutty streets, squares and dirt paths, recently punctuated by modern streetlamps and newly-constructed buildings in the latest Neo-Classical style, including Theatro da Paz (built between 1868-1874) and Hospital D. Luizi (finished in 1877).  If there is a message conveyed by this suite, it is that  Belem is a city in transition, occupied by a mixture of the stylishly dressed nouveau-riche  promenading along its spacious peaceful plazas and side-streets and the working class who support them going about their chores. Thus, in the center of his depiction entitled Estrada de S. Jose, Righini places a child in tattered clothes with his mother in traditional native dress balancing a basket of fruit on her head—both barefoot—in evident juxtaposition to a wealthy family of four in European-style clothing, alighting from a carriage in the background.

The lithographer of Panorama do Pará em Doze Vistas, Conrad Wiegandt (1841-1909) was born in Cologne in 1841. Also known as Carlos Wiegandt, João Carlos Wiegandt, and Hals-Karl Wiegandt, he arrived in Brazil in 1867 and shortly afterwards established the first lithographic printing shop in Belém. The Panorama do Pará em Doze Vistas must have been among his earliest productions. He was the first printer to use the technique of stereotype printing in the region. His brother Bernhard Wiegandt (1851-1918) was a successful painter, professor of art, and curator of Wallraf-Richartz Museum in Cologne. He lived in Brazil for five years from 1875 at his brother’s invitation.

We have found only 2 copies of this suite: one in the Biblioteca Brasiliana Mindlin -- this copy presently on loan to the Centro de memoria da Amazonia – UFPA, Belem, Brazil and one other copy cited in Anais da biblioteca nacional do Rio de Janeiro (1881-1882), item 16833. No copies in North American institutions, nor in OCLC and KVK.

* Corrêa do Lago, O Olhar distante. São Paulo: Fundação Bienal de São Paulo: Associação Brasil 500 anos Artes Visuais (São Paulo, 2000); Carneiro, Viajantes e naturalistas italianos: imagens do Brasil nos séculos XVIII e XIX (São Paulo, 2000), p. 59; Rodrigues, Todos Os Caminhos Partem De Roma: Arte Italiana E Romanização Entre O Império E a República Em Belém Do Pará (1867-1892), PhD dissertation (Universidade Federal do Pará, 2015); De O. Martins et al., “Hans-Karl Wiegandt e a introdução da litografia na Província do Gram-Pará em 1870,” in Projética 9/2 (Nov. 2018), pp. 11-26; Francivaldo Alves Nunes, “Paisagens rurais na Amazônia Oitocentista: magia, espanto e admoestações,” XXIX Simpósio Nacional de História (2017); Bénézit, vol. 3, p. 595.

Price: $4,500.00

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