Encontros difíceis: O artista-herói e os índios corrompidos no relato de viagem Deux Années au Brésil 1862

Ana Lucia Araujo


This paper analyzes how Brazilian Indians are depicted in the illustrations of the travel account Deux Années au Brésil by François-Auguste Biard (1799–1882). Published by Hachette in Paris in 1862, the book includes 180 wood engravings, drawn by Édouard Riou from Biard’s original sketches and engraved by several French artists. The way the painter represents the Indians reveals the kind of relationship he kept with them during his journey in Brazil. Even if most of the engravings are ethnographic portraits, some images give rise to a new representation of Brazilian Indians, as corrupted and diabolic. Several portraits of “civilized” natives are almost caricatures. Seeking to entertain the reader, many engravings depict conflicts between the painter and his models. In some illustrations, while Biard is the powerful hero, Indians are ridiculed. But even using stereotypes and exaggeration, these images show how close the painter’s relationship with his Indian models is.


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