Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Touring Sao Paulo . . .

Construction began in 1903 on the Theatro Municipal in Sao Paulo, Brazil. We wandered there early one morning to admire the impressive colonial architecture and the influence of turn-of-the-century Italian art for there's a large Italian population in Sao Paulo even today.

Originally designed to showcase opera, in its first years, according to Wikipedia, over 88 operas were staged. But we were drawn to the sculptures. Despite my best searching skills, and my limitations in Portuguese, I cannot find information about what these sculptures may represent. But here they are, for your enjoyment!

Two massive columns greet the visitor at each side of the building. Perhaps they are Italianate versions of Atlas. Certainly they remind me of Michelangelo's style!

Below: Detail of a medallion over the entrance door. This one looks like the infamous Green Man of Celtic myth.

Finally, an impassive woman graces the base of a column. I've read that Diana, the Huntress, is featured here, but I'm guessing she's one of two massive sculptures atop the building (see first photo). Perhaps below, we see Athena, goddess of wisdom.

While the colonial flavor of the building is marked with Italian style art, I'm not thinking about those glittering receptions or fabulous audiences who come to view performances of dance and music.

Rather, the sculptures seem to speak to the effort, the sheer work, the inner reflection required, and the tenacity (like stone), of making something beautiful.

NEXT: For the next few weeks, I'll post highlights from our trip to Brazil, photos and memories I hope you will enjoy. If anyone knows more about these sculptures at the Theatro Municipal, please comment!

UPDATE: Also, just for the month of September, you'll find my e-book, The Mermaid Quilt & Other Tales, on sale for .99 at Amazon and Smashwords. The Smashwords version features a few of my travel photos.

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