Fabriccio Miguel Novelli Duro — Temporalities of an Exhibition: Uncovering the “Brazilian Salon” between 1840 and 1884

During the nineteenth century, the Imperial Academy in Rio de Janeiro started to organize the “General Exhibitions”, an event based on the model of the Parisian Salon. Since its first edition, in 1840, until the last one held during the imperial period, in 1884, the institution had upheld 26 public events. The “Brazilian Salon” was the place where native or foreign artists could submit their work, exhibit it in the Academy palace, run for prizes and earn awards. When defending his initiative, the Academy’s director Félix-Émile Taunay stated that the local exhibition should not be compared with the current editions of the French Salon, but with its past, with the editions from the previous century. He argued that the newly implemented exhibition would grow just as it happened with the French Salon through the years. At the same time, while dealing with the small number of artworks submitted to the event, he allowed the presentation of private collections and “ancient works” lent by collectors to fulfill its exhibition walls. In exhibiting 19th-century productions – then called “modern” art – with objects from previous centuries – the “ancient” ones – the Academy palace and its contemporary art exhibition became a dispositive of multiple temporalities and diverse geographies. How can we deal with the incongruity of temporalities presented in the Brazilian contemporary exhibition? How can we inscribe the presence of artists and artworks of another place and temporalities in the writing of the history of art in Brazil?

Fabriccio Miguel Novelli Duro

Fabriccio Miguel Novelli Duro is a Brazil-based art historian. He is a PhD candidate in Art History at the University of Campinas (UNICAMP, Brazil) and obtained his BA (2015) and MA (2018) in Art History at the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP, Brazil). During his Master’s he performed a research internship at the Université Paris 8 (France). He wrote his master’s thesis on “Pedro Américo and the General Exhibition of 1884: Religious History Painting and Orientalism” (2018) and currently does research on “The General Exhibitions (1840-1884) in the articulation of the artistic system in Rio de Janeiro”, both with grants from São Paulo Research Foundation (FAPESP, Brazil). From 2014 to 2016 he took part in the project “Global Baroque: transcultural and trans-historical approaches to Latin America” funded by the Getty Foundation’s “Connecting Art Histories” program.


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