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Synopsis

According to the Brazilian sociologist, Gilberto Freyre, Franciscan nominalism constituted the scientific training of Europeans, especially the Portuguese. This was particularly true with reference to the fifteenth-century discoveries that led to the formation of a tropical Portuguese civilization. In the writer’s opinion, nominalism was fertile ground for developing a certain European concept of “art” that would enable Europeans living in the tropics to acknowledge styles of art different from those found in European practice and thinking. Freyre adds that this understanding came to contradict the European ideal of a universal art that prevailed at the time. This laid the groundwork for the ideal of an integrated, symbiotic art characterized by the understanding that certain forms of art and life are in full harmony with each other, whether within a culture or at the heart of a civilization. The writer points out symbiosis and environment in the work of the Dutch painter, Franz Post, who arrived in Pernambuco in 1637, in the court of John Maurice of Nassau. When he painted the Pernambuco landscape, Post was influenced by the light and color typical of the region. Upon his return to Holland, he continued to paint the Brazilian landscape, although his work continued to show the influence of the European art idioms of his time. Instead of tropical green, Post’s Brazilian paintings executed in Holland favored north-European blue, which Freyre saw as a misrepresentation of the tropics.

Leia esta sinopse em português
Synopsis

Gilberto Freyre entende que a filosofia nominalista franciscana constituiui a preparação científica dos europeus e, particularmente, dos portugueses, para a expansão do século XV, que  desembocaria na formação de uma civilização, que ele denomina luso-tropical. Para Freyre, esta compreensão nominalista foi responsável por desmanchar o ideal europeu de uma arte universal vigente até o período das grandes navegações, e por possibilitar a predisposição a uma arte integrativa e simbiótica, caracterizada pelo contexto no qual o artista está inserido.
Como exemplo de simbiose e influência do contexto, Freyre cita o pintor holandês Franz Post, que veio a Pernambuco em 1637, na comitiva de Maurício de Nassau, e que, ao pintar a paisagem pernambucana, é influenciado pela luz e cor típicas da região, retornando à Holanda e continuando a pintar as paisagens brasileiras, sem, contudo, escapar ao modismo de sua época – uma forte utilização do azul, o que para Freyre seria uma descaracterização de verdes tropicais em azuis norte-europeus.

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Annotations

Gilberto [de Mello] Freyre (1900-87) worked as a sociologist, anthropologist, historian, writer, and journalist. From the start, he was highly conscious of the great geographic and cultural distances that separated his region from the political and economic centers, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. As early as 1926, he proposed for his city, Recife, the “Primeiro Congresso Regionalista do Nordeste” (see the manifesto in [doc. no. 1074787]). This was an event that defended aspects of the culture and customs of his region (northeastern Brazil). And this was therefore the origin of his desire to offer suggestions for a new concept of “tropicalism,” which he had the opportunity to return to decades later in a lecture at the Faculdade de Letras de Coimbra (Portugal). He points out the pejorative meanings so often attributed to the term, used to designate qualities of crassness, disorder, coarseness, and primitivism, in open opposition to the idea of “civilization” claimed by a refined Europe (see “Em tôrno de um novo conceito de tropicalismo” [doc. no. 1075041]). That is how Freyre came to propose certain interpretations of man, objects, and tropical landscapes, going beyond ethnographic curiosities, the picturesque, and the exotic. In another text in which the writer places a priority on the regional value of the painting (strictly tropical), “Da arte e do trópico” [doc. no. 1075251], the example Freyre uses is the work of Flávio de Carvalho. Regarding the way painters relate to tropical light, he speaks up in defense of Candido Portinari [doc. no. 1075199].

 

This article is undoubtedly an offshoot of an article written by Freyre under the title “Nominalismo, artes plásticas e tropico” [doc. no. 1075317]. In the current article, the writer demands that Brazil be understood abroad as a “tropical complex.” Freyre postulates that the composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959), whose music was inspired by Brazilian folklore, took that concept to the point of reflecting what the German philosopher Wilhelm Dilthey considered “the power of reconstruction [of reality] through the imagination.” In Freyre’s opinion, the Portuguese were particularly predisposed to experience the development of the empirical knowledge that revolved around tropical diversity. They even took a stance against any idea of aesthetic universalism, giving in to the attraction exercised on them by the tropics. 

Leia este comentário crítico em português
Annotations

Neste artigo, o sociólogo Gilberto Freyre pede que o Brasil seja compreendido como um complexo tropical, e acredita que o compositor Heitor Villa-Lobos teve a dimensão deste conceito, tendo atingido o que Dilthey nomeou como o "poder de reconstrução [da realidade] pela imaginação". Segundo Freyre, sobretudo portugueses tiveram uma predisposição para experimentar o desenvolvimento de um saber empírico, em torno desta diversidade tropical, contra qualquer idéia de universalismo estético, permitindo-se atrair pelos trópicos.

Ver também:

FREYRE, Gilberto. Nominalismo, artes plásticas e trópico. In: FREYRE, Gilberto. Arte, ciência e trópico. São Paulo: DIFEL, 1980. 2ed. p.37-52.

 

b- Busca, construção e expressão de aspectos locais

b- Valores Tropicais

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Researcher
Clarissa Diniz
Team
FAPESP, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Credit
Cortesia da Fundação Gilberto Freyre, Pernambuco, Brasil
Location
Instituto Ricardo Brennand