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Handwritten letter from Emiliano Di Cavalcanti (1941)

Handwritten letter from Emiliano Di Cavalcanti (1941)

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“I'm very neurasthenic and nervous, I think it's due to age."

  • Handwritten letter from Emiliano Di Cavalcanti to Gildo.
  • A leaf.
  • In Portuguese.
  • 14 cm x 20 cm.
  • São Paulo July 23, 1941.
  • Perfect condition.
  • Unique piece.


Blue letterhead. Inside a rectangle with the image of a twin-engine plane the words: “BY PLANE VIA VASP”

São Paulo July 23, 1941

Avenida Ypiranga 480
Apart 906

My dear Gildo

The day before yesterday I called you, responding urgently to your letter. I've already tried to send / pick up my stuff, as my mother / OLD grandmother used to say, mother of a father who was from the northeast of the country. I would like you to tell me how much it cost you / the possible packing or other additional expenses. There is no need to add that I am very grateful to you and would like you to come and spend three days with me here in São Paulo. / I'm very neurasthenic and nervous, I think / it's due to age. And how are you? Write to me whenever you can. / A big hug from you

Di Cavalcanti (signed)
Remembering Ignez

Di Cavalcanti (1897 - 1976) was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1897, but his family's northeastern roots were always present in his work. However, his artistic life would take off with his move to São Paulo, where he conceived and organized the Modern Art Week of 1922, at the Municipal Theater in the capital of São Paulo. This event inaugurated Modernism in Brazil, a movement that became a cultural reference of the 20th century.

Di Cavalcanti took advantage of the artistic freedom of this new way of thinking to build, above all, Brazilian art. He traveled through several countries in Europe, had a strong influence from German Expressionism and Cubism, however, with these references he portrayed typical Brazilian themes, such as carnivals, workers, favelas, and even the miscegenation of typical Brazilian races, which until then was hidden behind an attempt to Europeanize the country.

Without a doubt, Di Cavalcanti is an inspiring figure, but he also experienced his difficult moments. He was persecuted and imprisoned for his political convictions in a Brazil convulsed by the totalitarian advance of Getúlio Vargas' Estado Novo. Freed, he fled to Paris, from where he had to escape once again due to the Second World War. All these events, far beyond historical facts, had a profound impact on the artist's spirit, who suffered from the incidents around him.

In 1941, Cavalcanti wrote this letter dedicated to his friend Gildo in which he revealed himself to be very neurasthenic and nervous, which he himself believed were “the ailments of age” . It is engaging and intriguing to discover, through the writings of these great personalities, confessions of their intimacy that demonstrate that they are more fragile and human than recorded in history books.

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