This review sheds a little light on how some of his fellow countrymen in Pernambuco viewed the Brazilian artist Vicente do Rego Monteiro (1899–1970): “Since Brazil lacked the appropriate environment for the development of his mind and his art, whose natural impulses could not be suppressed (…) he was obliged to seek more conducive circumstances in which to express the creative nature of his art, and settled in Paris. (…) There, in that great city, he earned the admiration of the most refined exponents of French modern art.”
In his article about the artist from Pernambuco, “Notas a lapis sobre um pintor indiferente,” Gilberto Freyre describes Rego Monteiro’s studio in Paris and discusses the latter’s Brazilian art in terms of the French art of the time [see 785071].
Crítica was published in Recife, the capital of the state of Pernambuco. The first weekly issue appeared on June 15, 1929, and it was then published every Saturday until the following year when, after its 54th edition, it closed on September 6, 1930. The editors were Clodomiro de Oliveira, José Firmo, Edgar Ramos, and Mac-Dowell Montenegro. The editorial slant of the magazine—which, as from August 1929 was known as a “high circulation pamphlet”—was of a socio-political nature. It claimed, at one point, to have no particular political affiliation, preferring instead to maintain an independent critical spirit, free of any kind of influence. The magazine’s political outlook actually varied according to its contributors, each of whom provided a critical view of one kind or another. Crítica also published essays and articles on art and, mainly, literature. It usually took a more academic approach to art and was thus immune or indifferent to the excitement that the arrival of modern art stirred up in Brazil.
Against that background, two historic events rocked the country: The art world was scandalized by the “Anthropophagus Movement” in São Paulo (1928–32); and the political establishment was overwhelmed by the Lieutenant’s Uprising (1930) led by Getúlio Vargas that installed a quasi-dictatorial regime known as the Estado Novo.