Vitalino Pereira dos Santos, Mestre (1909–1963)

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Vitalino Pereira dos Santos, Mestre (1909–1963)

Mestre Vitalino Pereira dos Santos (b. 1909; d. 1963), Brazilian sculptor. Mestre Vitalino's work was virtually unknown until 1947 when the Pernambucan painter and illustrator Augusto Rodrigues saw his art and recognized that his miniature clay figurines represented a new popular ceramic tradition for Brazil. The sculptures recount daily life among the inhabitants and their animals in the backlands of Vitalino's home state of Pernambuco. Unlike other popular ceramicists of his time, Vitalino sculpted them with a softness of line and curve, and imbued them with wit and subtle irony. His work was included in the 1948 Exposicão de Arte Popular in Rio de Janeiro. Prior to 1953 Vitalino grouped together and painted his subjects. Later, his compositions focused on single figures, which he left unpainted. He influenced the popular artists Nó Caboclo and Zé Rodriguez. Vitalino's sons continued the tradition popularized by their father.

See alsoArt: The Twentieth Century .


Arte no Brasil, vol. 2 (1979), esp. pp. 830-831.

Additional Bibliography

Frota, Lélia Coelho. Mestre Vitalino. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, Editora Massangana, 1986.

Mello, Paulino Cabral de. Vitalino, sem barro: O homem: 80 anos de arte popular. Rio de Janeiro: Ministério da Cultura; Brasília: Fundação Asssis Chateaubriand, 1995.

                                    Caren A. Meghreblian