Author, portrait painter and Brazilian plastic artist born in Rio Pardo, in Rio Grande do Sul, who as an artist, left countless works in painting, architecture and sculpture, mainly portraits of Emperors Pedro I and Pedro II, and figures linked to the Government Imperial. Son of the merchant of farms and wheat, Francisco José de Araújo and Francisca Antônia Viana, aged five years he lost his father, and his mother married another businessman, who provided him with studies in the capital of his State. In the midst of the Cisplatina Campaign (1827), he convinced his mother, widowed again, to travel to Rio de Janeiro, in order to pursue studies with Debret, whose portraits he was fascinated by. At the age of 21, he arrived in Rio de Janeiro, with his surname already added by the toponym Porto Alegre, and enrolled in his teacher's classes.
In addition, he attended courses in Philosophy, Anatomy and Physiology, and wrote his first work, in the poetic field: Ode sáfica, dedicated to Debret and published in the Catalog of the Exhibition (1830). He painted a panel (1830) reproducing D. Pedro I when delivering the decree for the reform of the Academy of Medicine to the medical staff. The following year, he followed Debret to France where he studied painting and architecture. In the Parisian capital, he met the poet Gonçalves de Magalhães, attache to the Brazilian legation, of whom he he became a great friend and companion on a trip to Italy, and Sales Torres Homem, another attaché to the aforementioned legation. Arriving in Paris, he was invited by Mr. Michaud, President of the Historical Institute, to read a memoir comparing ancient and modern art, at the association's congress, which resulted in the study État des Beaux Arts au Brésil, published in the Journal de l'Institute Historique (1832), together with the works of Torres Homem and Gonçalves de Magalhães.
He returned to Brazil (1837) and began to work at the Academia de Belas Artes, Colégio Pedro II, Paço Imperial and Museu Imperial. He also served as alternate councilor (1852) and Director of the Academy of Fine Arts (1854-1859). He launched in Rio de Janeiro (1855), together with a group of literati, under the direction of Joaquim Manuel de Macedo and Gonçalves Dias, Guanabara, a monthly, artistic, scientific and literary magazine. He was appointed Consul of Brazil in Berlin (1859) and later Consul in Lisbon (1867), the city where he came to to pass away, with the title of Baron de Santo Ângelo, granted by the Brazilian Historical and Geographical Institute (1874).
As an architect and sculptor, he participated in constructions and projects for buildings such as the National Archives, the Customs House of Rio de Janeiro and the Chapel of Paço Imperial. In sculpture, The Left Foot of Laocoon was his most important work, having won a prize at the Exhibition (1830). In his literary production, Brasilianas, which he published in Dresden (1863) and the Epic Colombo (1866), a text with more than twenty thousand verses, published in Rio de Janeiro, and which made it more known.
Order M - Biography - Brazil School
Source: Brazil School - https://brasilescola.uol.com.br/biografia/manuel-jose-de-araujo-porto-alegre.htm