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Discovery of Gold

Candido Portinari

Discovery of Gold

Candido Portinari
  • Date: 1941
  • Style: Muralism, Social Realism
  • Genre: history painting

In Discovery of Gold Portinari broke both with the Ministry frescoes and the World's Fair decorations. He abandoned the first idea of many boats floating on a winding river to concentrate on a single boat with a single group of figures. As in the first Hispanic Room mural, he moved from a distant general view to a specific close-up incident. In both paintings there is violent excitement; both represent the tenseness of the moment of discovery; both are exultant. But here the painter introduces a more frenzied pattern through the symbol of the worker's hand, raised, gesticulating, grasping, pressing. Impressionistic in color in the sudden brilliant strokes of unrelated colors on the skiff, in the hair of the miners, in the glint of gold and the tiny gleaming fish, this painting marks the farthest evolution of the painter's mural style toward the dissolution of form and color and derives from a series of experimental oils centering around the theme of a shipwreck, which Portinari made in the summer of 1941.

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