Meireles de Lima, Vítor (1832–1903)

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Meireles de Lima, Vítor (1832–1903)

Vítor Meireles de Lima (b. 18 August 1832; d. 22 February 1903), Brazilian painter. Along with Pedro Américo, Meireles is one of Brazil's most important historical painters of the Second Empire. Born in the southern province of Santa Catarina, Meireles commenced his formal artistic formation in 1847 at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro. In 1852 he won a travel stipend, the academy's top student honor. During his eight years in Europe, he produced his first important historical painting, and one of his greatest works, A primeira missa no Brasil.

Upon his return to Brazil, Meireles devoted his life to painting whether working as the academy's professor of history painting, fulfilling governmental commissions, or readying canvases for presentation in the academy's exhibitions. Between 1866 and 1879, he received three important governmental commissions to produce paintings with military themes. Sought to bolster the Second Empire's image after Brazil's participation in the victorious but draining War of the Triple Alliance (1864–1870), these military paintings represent his most celebrated works. They include Combate naval do Riachuelo and Passagem de humaitá (1872), which re-create events from the war, and Primeira Batalha dos Guararapes (1879), which documents a 1648 battle in which black, Indian, and Brazilian troops fought against Dutch colonial domination. Beyond these historical compositions, Meireles produced numerous portraits, an Indianist painting, Moema, and various landscapes and panoramas.

See alsoArt: The Nineteenth Century .


Quirino Campofiorito, História da pintura brasileira no século XIX (1983).

Angelo de Proença Rosa, Vítor Meireles de Lima (1832–1903) (1982).

Argeu Guimarães, Auréola de Vítor Meireles (1977).

Caren A. Meghreblian, "Art, Politics, and Historical Perception in Imperial Brazil, 1854–1884" (Ph.D. diss., UCLA, 1990).

Additional Bibliography

Xexéo, Monica F. B. Vitor Meireles: Um artista do império. Rio de Janeiro: MNBA; Curitiba: Museu Oscar Niemeyer, 2003.

                                 Caren A. Meghreblian

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Meireles de Lima, Vítor (1832–1903)

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