Ender, Thomas (1793–1875)

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Ender, Thomas (1793–1875)

An Austrian painter known for his landscapes of Brazil, Thomas Ender was born in St. Ulrich in the outskirts of Vienna, on November 3, 1793. After winning the Imperial Court Gold Medal for landscape painting from the Vienna Academy of Art, Ender joined the scientific expedition assembled to accompany the Hapsburg princess Leopoldina to Rio de Janeiro to join her husband, the future emperor Pedro I. The group, which also included the naturalists Johann Baptist von Spix and Karl Friedrich Philipp von Martius, was to explore the flora and fauna of Brazil. Setting sail in March 1817, Ender spent almost one year exploring the area between Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, documenting not only the natural beauty of the country but its architecture and people as well. He intensively documented Rio de Janeiro and the Vale do Paraíba, where coffee was starting to be cultivated.

Upon his return to Vienna, Ender delivered a total of 782 works to the Imperial government. These watercolors and sketches, which constitute the majority of his work in Brazil, remain one of the most beautiful and evocative sources of information on Brazilian colonial life and society. Along with Jean-Baptiste Debret and Johann Moritz Rugendas, Ender stands as one of the greatest documentarians of Brazil's past.

See alsoArt: The Nineteenth Century; Debret, Jean-Baptiste; Pedro I of Brazil; Rugendas, Johann Moritz.


Ferrez, Gilberto. O Brasil de Thomas Ender. Rio de Janeiro: Fundação João Moreira Salles, 1976.

                                            Gloria Kaiser

                                         Ana Luiza Nobre