Archives for posts with tag: Necrópole São Paulo

It really is called that … this municipal cemitério has a grand entrance. The street opposite ends in a semicircular crescent, now obscured by commercial development. The shops specialise in antique furniture, appropriately enough, whereas the porch shelters the destitute.

On busy Rua Cardeal Arcoverde – named for the first cardinal born in South America

Begun in 1920, since both the Cemitério da Consolação and the Cemitério do Araçá were full, the Cemitério São Paulo extended the opportunity for the socially ambitious literally to build on their reputation with grand tombs and statuary by established sculptors.

Just past the entrance there’s a well-kept memorial to the combatants of the 1932 Sao Paulo Constitutional Revolution, showing the city’s crest.

Their inspiration the law, LEX

The gate is a neo-classical composition, matching the chapel and the records office in style if not in colour scheme.

Both the sober entrance framing the city and…

… the chapel of rest flanked by funerary cypresses show us peace above, PAX

A crucifix stretched out in the sun beside the records office

You’re struck by the profusion of statuary, especially of the human figure in every attitude of grief.

Unusually strong male statue strikingly installed

The sloping site positively writhes with humanity in vistas and avenues.

Metropolis and necropolis

The cemetery is a welcome patch of nature in its urban surroundings, providing quiet, fresh air and cool shade, though as in the surrounding city, every available space is used.

Niches in the perimeter walls

While there are some grave sites for professional groups …

The final curtain

Mausoleum for nuns of the Brazilian order Missionarias de Jesus Crucificado

… and for individuals …

Italian first conductor of Sao Paulo Conservatorium watched over by van Beethoven

… the vast majority are family vaults, and focus on their dynasties from both sides of the family, emphasising the male line.

Individuals pass on, we continue

Their names are from Italy, Lebanon, Japan and Armenia  as well as from Portugal. The iconography is largely Roman Catholic, with classical and Masonic allusions too –

Cristo Redentor, the Good Shepherd at the Door, the broken column

Masonic temple in miniature

Even Shinto veneration of one’s ancestors appears in syncretist Brazil

– in this context, meaning accrues readily.

” … shall be raised indestructible.”

Tile work makes an occasional appearance.

Mother and child, family tomb

Statuary in metal and in stone is finely wrought.

Shepherd boy and charges

Colour and texture effectively deployed

Marble crisply carved, whether in close-up …

… or complete piece

The mausoleums are well built, with careful detailing.

Drainage for planter boxes

Some measures have been taken against the ravages of the twentieth century – air pollution, for example – and there are almost no graffiti.

Art Nouveau work with near a century’s accumulation of grime

This angel remains snow white

Some memorials were prettily and deliberately conservative in the 1920s.

Angel in bas-relief under Romanesque arch with acanthus-leaf capitals

Some embraced the future with a will.

Memorial to a son in the Italian air force

Some symbols are updated in style, or used in a less obviously religious way.

The Via Dolorosa winds around a funerary vase

Image of the statue of Nossa Senhora da Conceição Aparecida, patronne of Brazil

Young woman enveloped by a stiff cloak – perhaps alluding to the venerated statue

The worship of Mary is a recurring theme in Brazilian Catholicism, with appearances as the Virgin and as the Mother of God.

From the life of Mary in bronze, the family name and “Ave Maria” carved high on the obelisk

Modern mother and child

Obelisk or chapel, traditional or modern, family or individual, even Christian or not, all kinds are gathered here.

For a priest, a chapel …

… complete with altar, Islamic inscription, Candomble offering … ?

… and angels above

Small but functional family chapel

Family tomb by leading Brazilian sculptor Victor Brecheret

Jesuit tomb for Maluf family – perhaps less keen to highlight construction now

(See )

Sure of salvation through living right …

Traditional grouping with traditional message

… or trusting in God at the last trump …

At St Peter’s gate

… when the final preparations are made,

Fear no more the heat o’ the sun

a door does seem an appropriate symbol.

Chapel of rest

A first glance at the public sculpture of Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro suggests that the strong Brasilian sense of the visual is as evident here as in graffiti and street art, and indeed in everyday life.  From the turn of last century, sculpture decorated functional public buildings …

Entrance to Mercado Central, Sao Paulo, with bandeirantes seal above

… as well as the more usual cultural buildings …

Ticket window, Teatro Municipal, Rio

… and public monuments to the great …

Bandeirante pioneer Bartolomeu Bueno da Silva, Parque Trianon, Sao Paulo

… and good …

Chief Scout Lord Baden-Powell, Praca Republica, Sao Paulo

… whether or not the inscription is in Brasilian Portuguese.

Architect of Italian unity, Jardim da Luz, Sao Paulo, República Federativa do Brasil

At times, the public work is quite exotic …

Street lighting near the Arcos, Rio Centro

… while domestic sculptural decoration is sometimes more restrained …

Cast iron, Santa Teresa, Rio

… and at times less so.

Furniture at the Museu da Casa Brasileira, Sao Paulo

A country for which the national symbol is a statue …

Cristo Redentor, Morro Corcovado (‘Hunchback Hill’), Rio – largest Deco sculpture in the world

… can be expected to have a tradition of studying classical sculpture …

Sculpture Gallery, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio

… certainly as plaster copies.

Copy of Greek warrior, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, for use in art classes

Not just a public monument, domestic sculpture also turns up regularly in museums and markets.

French bronze, Museu  Nacional de Belas Artes

Religious sculpture, like this Jesus and Joseph, is widely used …

Interior of Carmelite church, an ex-Imperial chapel, Praca Quinze de Novembre, Rio

… both inside and outside …

St Francis, Catedral de Sao Sebastian, Rio

Detail, St Paul, Praca da Se, Sao Paulo

… and on a small scale as well as larger than life-size.

Devotional figures, Last Supper, including Judas, Museu da Casa Brasileira, Sao Paulo

Funerary work is also strong; graveyards are a riot of statuary. More pictures to follow. UPDATE –  see  and

Actors’ gravesite, Necrópole São Paulo

Quasi-religious statuary can also be found …

Sphinx guarding Grand Lodge of Brasil, Rio

… as can more public celebrations of the arts …

Maestro Carlos Gomes outside the Teatro Municipal, Rio

… and of leading figures from other religions and cultures.

Praca Mahatma Gandhi, Rio. The Mahatma is a revered figure in Brasil

After helping the Portuguese to expel the French, Araribóia founded Niteroi in 1573

Civic leaders …

Faria Lima, Sao Paulo mayor from 1965 to 1969, on the road named for him

… and journalists are today’s subjects …

Statue commemorating newspaper journalist, Jardims bairro, Sao Paulo

… along with the occasional abstract art work …

Red Moon, Jardims, Sao Paulo

… but in a city of rectangular apartment blocks and offices, when the cars stop outside the sculpture museum MuBe (Museu Brasileiro da Escultura , these are the kinetic, highly-coloured sculptural objects they are stopping to photograph and admire.

Lamborghini showroom, Avenida Europa, Sao Paulo

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