Museu Victor Meirelles
Lonely Planet review for Museu Victor Meirelles
Victor Meirelles is not only an important figure in the history of Brazil's art, but in the development of its historical consciousness. His renderings of key moments in Brazilian history, many on display in this small museum, have been highly influential.
Victor Meirelles, acclaimed by some as the leading Brazilian artist of the 19th century, was raised in this modest colonial house on the street that now bears his name. Born into a Florianópolis merchant family in 1832, he studied art in Paris, returning to 'document' Brazilian history in paintings that celebrated the emergence of the nation and seminal moments in its history. In the 1920s and 30s, Brazilian nationalism combined with an antiquarian interest in the country's cultural heritage to produce the National Artistic and Historic Patrimony Service (SPHAN). The Service is responsible for the establishment of this museum, which, while small, contains a significant collection of this prolific figure's work, plus that of other notable Brazilian painters.