Cândido Portinari, painter

Cândido Portinari (1903-1962, Brazil) was Zélia Salgado’s colleague at the National Fine Arts School – ENBA, in the 1920′s. Like her, he tried to win the golden medal at the ENBA Saloon – Journey Prize, what would only happen in 1928 (Portinari enrolled at the ENBA in 1920, at the age of only 15), unwillingly presenting an academic painting. Zélia would use the same tactics in 1930, with a clay sculpture of traditional features – “horrendous”, according to her -, to win the prize and to travel to Paris and London. About her colleague, Zélia used to stress it was obvious he had great power in painting, and like her he made all efforts to be liberated of conventional art and to find his own path, reckoned a few years later as the most famous Brazilian painter in the world. In 1924 Portinari made a portrait of Zélia (charcoal on paper), showing control and technical accuracy and immortalizing the artist at 20. The work can be found at the Museum of Brazilian Art (MAB), at the Armando Álvares Penteado Foundation in São Paulo city.


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