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Dedication by Tarsila do Amaral (1957)

Dedication by Tarsila do Amaral (1957)

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In 1957, Tarsila do Amaral signed a dedication – and, perhaps, two drawings? – in the catalog of his major retrospective at the São Paulo Museum of Modern Art.

  • Dedication by Tarsila do Amaral to Renato Dobal on the first page of the catalog for the December 1950 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art.
  • Some drawings on the back.
  • In Portuguese.
  • 10 pages.
  • 18.5cm x 26.5cm.
  • São Paulo, September 21, 1957.
  • In good conditions.
  • Unique piece.

For Renato Dobal,

Fondly,

Tarsila

São Paulo, 9/21/1957

There is a lot to be said about Tarsila do Amaral, one of the most important Brazilian painters and a central figure in the modernist movement in Brazil. She is renowned for works such as "Abaporu" and "Antropofagia", which reflect the search for a Brazilian national identity through the arts. Even without being an expert, something that has always captured my attention in his work is his unique style, a feeling that I share in relation to the architect Oscar Niemeyer: when you see one of his works, you immediately recognize its authorship.

Another similarity is that both are often targets of forgery, and it is necessary to have extensive experience – which I have acquired over time – to differentiate forgeries from authentic writings or drawings. This dedication is authentic, but I'm not sure who Renato Dobal is: could he be an artist? A journalist? A friend?

Now, the last page, on the back. One of the drawings, titled “couple”, was made with pen. The other two – the face in the center and the head above – were made with a pencil, the same instrument used by Tarsila to write. She had different drawing styles, most of which were quite simplified. Together with another specialist in autograph documents, I spent hours comparing these drawings with other authenticated drawings of hers, present in our digital files accumulated over the years. In addition to our intuitions, we observed notable similarities in the central drawing (angle, nose, hair) and the upper one (voluminous lips, wide forehead, way of drawing the nose and eyes). I can't say with complete certainty that these two drawings were his authorship, but I believe it is quite likely.

Catalogues, letters, dedications or drawings by Tarsila do Amaral are very rare; This dedication is the second one that has been proposed to me in almost fifteen years.


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