WAR AND PEACE

2014 Exposições

Candido Portinari was one of Brazil’s most important painters and very passionate about what he did. His death, however, was hastened by lead poisoning, from the paints he used in his works.

It was precisely during the time doctors had prohibited him from painting, in an effort to slow down the poisoning process, that Portinari received a commission for panels that would be delivered to the United Nations as a present from the Brazilian government.

In 1950, Portinari began preparatory studies for the panels in the auditorium of the studios of the now defunct TV Tupi and for around four years he produced around 180 drafts and scale models for the murals. After nine months of painting each centimeter of the panels that were 14 m x 10 m each, he completed and delivered the largest work of his life, in 1956, to the Minister of Foreign Affairs Macedo Soares, for donation to the UN, in New York.

The panels War and Peace were installed in the General Assembly Hall, in 1957, the most important space at the UN headquarters.

The Portinari Project had always dreamt of showing the panels to the public at large and, in 2007, with the announcement of a renovation of the UN building, this dream came true. 

In 2010, the panels were brought to Brazil and displayed at the Municipal Theater of Rio de Janeiro, attracting over 40,000 people on the first few days of the exhibition. At the start of the following year, also in Rio, an open studio was assembled for the restoration of the panels in the Gustavo Capanema Palace Exhibition Hall, which allowed over 7,000 people to observe the interventions performed to preserve the works, as carried out by Brazilian restorers. This restoration work enabled the panels to be scientifically documented.

After this stage, the exhibition War and Peace, comprised of the panels and a series of preparatory studies, was presented first in São Paulo, at the Latin American Memorial, which attracted around 200,000 visitors. During that year, it was elected Best Exhibition of 2012 by the Brazilian Association of Art Critics and won the Aberje Prize – São Paulo 2012, in addition to being nominated for Best Exhibition in 2012 by the newspapers Folha de São Paulo and Estado de São Paulo.

In 2013, the panels and studies moved on to Belo Horizonte where they could be viewed at the Cine Theatro Brasil Vallourec. The exhibition was considered the best of the season in the city by the magazine Veja BH, and visited by over 80,000 people.

In 2014, the exhibition was displayed for the first time in Europe, from May 7 to June 9, in the Hall of Honor at the Grand Palais in Paris, France. A total of 37 preparatory studies by the artist, including sketches and paintings, were displayed. After this exhibition, the tour ended with the return of War and Peace to UN headquarters, in a grand event entitled “The Second Unveiling.”

The entire museological project was coordinated by Expomus, in conjunction with the Portinari Project, with the aim of giving the public a unique opportunity to see up close the masterpiece by this great Brazilian artist.

onuportinari