Portal de Congresos de la UNLP, Congreso Internacional: el modelo beaux arts y la arquitectura en América Latina, 1870-1930

Tamaño de la fuente: 
Other architectures and other architects in the Brazilian architectural space at the beginning 20th century
Anat Falbel, María Cristina Cabral

Última modificación: 2019-09-13


The architecture historiography developed since the 1970, by European and American scholars, concerning the period comprehended between the 18th century and the beginning of the 20th century  emerged from the discussions devoted to the relationship between modern architecture and classical principles – as prompted  almost two decades before in Rudolf Wittkower’s  Architectural Principles in the Age of Humanism (1949). Unlikely, the historiographical construction of modern Brazilian architecture as formulated by architect Lucio Costa, during the 1940s, in the midst of the nationalist climate of Getulio Vargas‘s dictatorship, pointed to a figural relationship with the Baroque, understood as the first expression of nationality. The need for a narrative asserting the country’s cultural identity in arts and architecture prevented the recognition of other expressions and other professionals that co-exist throughout the 19th century under the influence of the Academia de Beaux Arts founded in 1826, in Rio de Janeiro. That cultural context continued until the first historiographical revisions during the 1980s.

In order to face the challenge suggested by the meeting The Beaux-Arts Model and the Academic Culture in Latin American Architecture, 1870-1930, we propose the analysis of the new turn that contemplated “other” architects and "other" architectures from that same period considering its theoretical assumptions and main themes.

In this sense, the article introduces a group of European architects, who as agents responsible for the exchange and transference of an architecture culture circulated within Latin America. Although almost forgotten by the Brazilian historiographical narrative, professionals like Joseph Gire, Viret & Marmorat, Henri Sajous or Robert Prentice were able to develop a consistent oeuvre in Rio de Janeiro being responsible for shaping the city’s landscape during the first three decades of the 20th century. And if their production affiliated with the Beaux-Arts’ teaching and Julien Guadet’s formulations would be assimilate to the local conditions, the new programs and compositional methods would decidedly influence the local professional architecture culture.



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