Brecheret, Victor (1894–1955) By Canejo, Cynthia
Victor Brecheret was a modernist sculptor whose unique style incorporated the graceful design of Art Nouveau and Art Deco and the purity of the School of Paris. Working in São Paulo, one of the centers of the avant-garde during the earliest manifestations of modernism in Brazil, Brecheret participated in the Semana de Arte Moderna de 1922 [Week of Modern Art]—an arts festival organized by a group of modernists for the centennial celebration of Brazilian independence—which took place in the Teatro Municipal de São Paulo between 3 and 17 February, 1922. Brecheret became an important part of this intellectual group, which included the painters Anita Malfatti and Emiliano Di Cavalcanti; the poet, Menotti del Picchia; and the writers, Mario de Andrade and Oswald de Andrade. Brecheret was inspired to simplify his sculptural forms while visiting the Parisian ateliers of two noted sculptors: the Romanian, Constantin Brancusi, and the Frenchman, Aristide Maillol. As a modernist working on public monuments—such as the Monumento às Bandeiras [Monument to the Pioneers], in Ibirapuera Park, São Paulo, 1936–1956—Brecheret was able to unite his national tendencies with his international inclinations. In working with ideas from both Brazil and Europe, Brecheret assimilates national subjects with international styles to create works that are decidedly his own. Furthermore, in choosing unusual poses or unconventional designs, he gives traditional themes a unique character.