After months of negative advance press about zika virus concerns and dismal reports of pollution, foiled terrorist plots, crime-ridden slums, and inadequate housing, the city of Rio de Janeiro managed to pull off a jubilant and visually dazzling opening ceremony for the 2016 Summer Olympics, and with a budget far less than previous host cities, like London and Beijing. Rainforests, fireworks, and the samba! It was a spirited, colorful Rio party.
So the games are well underway and I’ve really been enjoying them. The swimming and gymnastics competitions in particular have been amazing. Those are, of course, the perennially popular attractions of the summer games, but I’ve found myself glued to the TV even when watching things like water polo and archery! The precision of the archers amazes me probably because I’m the worst dart player on the planet. The worst 😆
In honor the Rio Summer Olympics, some Museworthy art by the Brazilian realist painter José Ferraz de Almeida Júnior. Born in 1850, he studied at the Academia Imperial de Belas Artes in Rio, and after a few years spent studying in Europe Almeida Júnior returned to Brazil and settled in São Paulo where he gave lessons in his studio, painted, and organized exhibitions.
I think this is one the best depictions I’ve seen of this subject, of which there are countless artistic versions. Study for Flight of the Holy Family to Egypt, 1881:
While adept at religious and historical themes, Almeida Júnior worked equally with regional subjects during his years in Brazil. This is Estudo para Cabeça de Caipira, 1893:
Nhá Chica, 1895:
The Guitar Player, 1899: