The Portinari Project timeline


During the gestation period of what would become the Portinari Project, João Candido Portinari, the painter's son, visited numerous institutions in the United States and Europe. Dismayed to find that the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MoMA) had more information on Portinari than all the Brazilian institutions he had visited, João realized that he needed to "get moving": "There was an urgent need to dedicate myself to his memory, to recover his memory, which was being lost".

The "Portinari Plan" was written with the support of Antonio César Olinto, Halina Grynberg, Armando Strozenberg, Leonel Kaz, and the advice of Flávio Motta, Clarival do Prado Valladares, Israel Pedrosa, among others.

A year earlier, Portinari's biographer, Antonio Callado, denounced this in a statement given to Ralph Camargo for the catalog of the exhibition Portinari Desenhista: "Segregated in private collections, in bank rooms, Candinho is becoming invisible. Will our greatest painter continue to be dismembered, like the Tiradentes he painted?"


The Portinari Project reached its milestone on April 2, when it began its activities in a room provided by the Casa de Rui Barbosa in Rio de Janeiro, thanks to the agreement signed between the Financier of Studies and Projects (FINEP) and the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). It is important to highlight the fundamental participation of José Pelúcio Ferreira, then president of FINEP.

In such a scenario, advice from the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and other national and international organizations, as well as notable personalities, was key, especially in creating the methodology for an unprecedented work in the country. Renowned scientists supported the initiative, namely Aristides Pacheco Leão, then president of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), Isaac Kerstenetzky, President of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE), Antonio César Olinto, founder of the National Laboratory for Scientific Computing (LNCC), Lindolpho Carvalho Dias, director of the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), among others.


Most of the Project's collection of documents originated in the artist's family archive and has been enriched over the years through donations from institutions and/or individuals or exchanges.

This is how the Portinari Project carried out an important exchange with the Institute of Brazilian Studies (IEB), of the University of São Paulo, offering the set of letters sent by Candido Portinari to Mário de Andrade, receiving, in reciprocity, those sent to him by Mário. The same happened with the correspondence between Portinari and Carlos Drummond de Andrade, which was exchanged directly with the poet, as well as the correspondence between the artist and Gustavo Capanema, which was exchanged with the Getúlio Vargas Foundation's Research and Documentation Center (CPDoc).

Professor João Candido visited Kodak's research laboratories, the Rochester Institute of Technology, and the International Museum of Photography, all in Rochester, USA, as well as Polaroid, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. where he consulted scientists who were engaged in research into the preservation of the color image, taking the first steps in the area of digital imaging.

Carlos Drummond de Andrade wrote the chronicle Um artista. Um mundo a revelar e desdobrar (Jornal do Brasil, 10.05.1980), in which he addressed the objective of the Portinari Project, which, in addition to cataloging all of Candido Portinari's work and presenting it through various media, was also to create a Cultural Center or a Portinari Foundation.

That same year, the rectory of PUC-RIO gave the Portinari Project the raised basement of the Grandjean de Montigny manor house for its facilities.

An extensive campaign promoted by Rede Globo and the Roberto Marinho Foundation aired thirty-second spots on national television for three years (1981-1983) at various times (regional spots were also broadcast in several Brazilian states), asking for the public's collaboration in the work of the Portinari Project. As a result, the Project received more than three thousand letters from all over Brazil, with information on works and documents relating to the painter. Portinari's life and work were the subject of a 'Globo Repórter' program in 1980 and of the broadcaster's Christmas campaign in 1982. On numerous occasions, the Portinari Project was featured on Rede Globo's programming, being highlighted in various editions of the 'Jornal Nacional' and other programs with large audiences.


An agreement was signed with the National Arts Foundation (Funarte) to support the Oral History Program, with the aim of recording testimonies about the artist, creating a collection of 130 hours recorded with 74 of the painter's contemporaries. The Portinari Project, especially its researchers Aspásia Camargo and Celina Vargas do Amaral Peixoto, benefited from the experience of CPDoc, of Getúlio Vargas Foundation in Rio de Janeiro.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sent a circular to all Brazilian diplomatic missions, asking that in each location, the Embassy, Consulate and Commercial Mission support the work of the Portinari Project, helping to locate works and documents, and in the logistics of visits to owners for registration and photography.


Portinari's biographer, Antonio Callado, wrote an article in 'Isto É' magazine, in which he defined the Portinari Project as "a work of love and technique".


The Portinari Project received support from Viação Aérea Rio-Grandense (Varig) in the form of tickets abroad to help with the task of locating the works and documentary material. In addition to this financial support, the most important airline at the time sent a circular to all its agencies in Brazil and abroad, asking them to help the Portinari Project.


For many years, the Portinari Project had a single visible face: an audiovisual lecture that continues to travel throughout Brazil, as well as some countries in Europe, Cuba, Mexico, Argentina, USA, etc.

In it, Professor João Candido Portinari presents, in addition to the work of the Project itself and the life and times of the painter, a sample of more than 200 works, bringing to the public something that not even the painter himself was allowed to see: an overview of his work, unprecedented and whose scope goes far beyond the collection of any location, museum or private collection.


The Candido Portinari Cultural Association (ACCP), the legal entity of the Portinari Project, was created, with Professor Afonso Arinos as its first President.

The Portinari Project was invited by the Soviet Union (USSR) to hold a retrospective exhibition of Portinari at the Hermitage in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). Professor João Candido went to Moscow for the negotiations, but the great political change that extinguished the USSR prevented the event from taking place.


Oscar Niemeyer responded generously to the Portinari Project's request, offering it a project for the 'Portinari Museum'.


Studio Portinari, a company that combines IT with graphic arts, was created as a way of maintaining the Portinari Project.


The Portinari panels from the Mayrink Chapel in Tijuca were stolen in 1993 and recovered in 1994. In 1995 they became part of the collection of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro. The Portinari Project sought sponsorship for the replicas currently on display in the Chapel.

The book Portinari, amico mio: cartas de Mário de Andrade a Candido Portinari was organized and published.


An agreement was signed with Petrobras for the 'Brushstroke Project', using technology created by professors João Portinari and George Svetlichny, from PUC-Rio, which makes it possible to certify the authenticity of Portinari's works by identifying the artist's brushstroke pattern.

The book Don Quixote: Cervantes, Portinari, Drummond, with drawings by Portinari, was organized and published.

Research assistance was provided to Professor Annateresa Fabris, from the University of São Paulo (USP), for the publication of her book Portinari, by EDUSP.

Technical assistance was provided for the children's book Encontro com Portinari, by Rosane Acedo and Cecília Aranha, part of the Encounter with Brazilian Art collection.


The exhibition "Portinari Retrospective: Drama and Poetry" was curated to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), with works located by the project that had never been shown, such as "Baile na roça" (1923-1924), Portinari's first work with a Brazilian theme.

The 'Brazil by Portinary' art education program was launched, initially sponsored by Petrobras and aimed at primary and secondary schools, with exhibitions and workshops in all Brazilian capitals.

Technical direction and coordination (content and production) of the book Portinari, published by Edições Velox.

Technical assistance was provided for the book Portinari, Vou Pintar aquela Gente, with text by Nilson Moulin and illustrations by Rubens Matuck, published by Editora Callis.

The Portinari Project begins a methodological partnership with Petrobras to organize and disseminate the company's photographic and film collection, with a view to building a database using the expertise developed by the Portinari Project's collection team.


The Brazilian Navy school ship set sail from Rio de Janeiro with an exhibition of replicas of Portinari's works, which have been exhibited in 18 ports in different countries.

Technical assistance was provided for the children's book Portinari, by Nadine Trzmielina and Angelo Bonito, published by Editora Callis.


The Portinari Project was a finalist in the IBest 99 Prize.

The book Poemas de Candido Portinari was organized and published.

The exhibition O Interior de Portinari was held at the Ribeirão Preto Art Museum in São Paulo, sponsored by CPFL Energia, EPTV and the Ribeirão Preto Municipal Department of Culture.

Technical consultancy for the children's book Candido Portinari, written by Nereide Schilaro Santa Rosa, published by Editora Moderna.

As part of the art education program, the following projects were started: 'Portinari in prisons', 'Portinari in the slums of Rio de Janeiro' (in partnership with the Committee for the Democratization of Information Technology - CDI), 'Portinari Expedition on Brazilian Rivers' (which toured the Paraguay river on board a chalana) and 'If I were Portinari' (with the support of the Rio de Janeiro State Research Foundation (Faperj), carried out in 14 Cieps in the state of Rio de Janeiro).


Organization and revised and expanded edition of the book Portinari, o menino de Brodósqui: retalhos de minha vida de infância (Portinari, the boy from Brodowski: scraps of my childhood life), with a print run of 40,000 copies, sponsored by the O Boticário company, which sold it alongside its "Portinari" cologne.


Presentation of the 'Portinari Memorial' project in Brodowski, signed by architect Oscar Niemeyer, to commemorate the artist's centenary.

The year 2003 was established as the "Portinari Year" by the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Benedita da Silva.

The President of the Republic, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, issued a decree establishing 2003 as the "Candido Portinari National Year".


Portinari's centenary was marked by commemorative events such as: the exhibition Portinari, Painter of Peace at the Itamaraty Palace in Brasília; the exhibition Tempo Portinari at SESC-RJ; the revival of the show Baile na Roça: Choreographies for Portinari, by Balé da Cidade de São Paulo, at the municipal theaters of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro; the season of the play Portinari, um menino de Brodowski, at Teatro Sesi; the pocket-opera Por Ti Portinari, at SESC São Paulo; the publication of the chronobiography Candido Portinari: O lavrador de quadros; the launch, at the Rio Datacentro at PUC-Rio, of the CD-Rom 'Portinari multimídia', with 5,000 works and 30,000 documents about the painter; the partnership between the Portinari Project and TeleListas; and the tribute paid to the painter by the Rio de Janeiro samba school Paraíso do Tuiuti.

Technical support for the reissue, by Léo Christiano Editorial, of the book Portinari, a biography written by art historian and critic Antonio Bento, who was Portinari's colleague at the National School of Fine Arts (ENBA), and his lifelong friend.

The Federal Senate voted on an amendment to Congressman Gastão Vieira's bill, extending the "Candido Portinari National Year" to the 2003-2004 biennium.

The President of the Republic, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, accepting a proposal from the National Council for Cultural Policy and the Ministry of Culture, awarded Candido Portinari the 'Order of Cultural Merit' in memoriam.

Also, on the centenary of the painter's birth, on the occasion of the presentation of the 'Rodrigo Mello Franco de Andrade Award', the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute (IPHAN) paid extraordinary tribute to the Portinari Project.


The Catalogue Raisonné, Portinari's complete oeuvre, has been published as the result of 25 years of research by the Portinari Project, coordinated by Christina Penna. This work is the first of its kind to be published in Latin America.

The Portinari Project was invited to exhibit in a special room for Portinari at the 26th São Paulo Biennial. On that occasion, the Catalogue Raisonné was launched for the general public and presented with nine hours of digital projections of all the painter's works.

The exhibition Candido Portinari: Visões de uma infância brasileira was held at the invitation of the Brazilian Embassy in London.

The Portinari exhibition was also held, together with the Candido Portinari and the social meaning of art conference cycle and the 'Portinari's Brazil' educational program in Argentina.

The Catalogue Raisonné was awarded the 'Clio History Prize' by the São Paulo Academy of History.

President Fernando Henrique Cardoso decreed 2003-2004 as the "Portinari Biennium".


The Catalogue Raisonné was awarded the 'Sérgio Milliet' prize by the Brazilian Association of Art Critics (ABCA); the 'Rodrigo Mello Franco de Andrade Prize' by IPHAN; and the 'Jabuti' prize by the Brazilian Book Chamber.

The exhibition 'Portinari, Art and Science' was held at the Estação Ciência in São Paulo, curated by Professor Suely Avellar and Cristina Marlasca.


Execution of the mosaic Jesus among Doctors by the artist Isabel Ruas, coordinated by Noélia Coutinho and donated by the Portinari Project to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Church at PUC-Rio.


Organization and publication of the book War and Peace: Portinari.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva closed his speech at the United Nations General Assembly by talking, for the first time in 50 years, about the War and Peace panels, Brazil's gift to the United Nations (UN), installed there in 1957.

Together with Professor João Candido, President Lula presented the book War and Peace: Portinari, produced by the Portinari Project, to UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon.

Professor João Candido received the title of 'Honorary Citizen of São Carlos', São Paulo.


Professor João Candido was awarded the 'Order of Cultural Merit' by the Presidency of the Republic, in the category of Commander.


The Portinari Project followed the Brazilian Navy on a humanitarian aid expedition along the Purus River in the Amazon, with the exhibition 'Portinari's Brazil'.

Singer Milton Nascimento visited the Portinari Project and the Casa de Portinari Museum in Brodowski. Milton composed music and lyrics about the War and Peace panels.

Hamilton de Holanda published a CD with songs inspired by the War and Peace panels.

The first edition of the project 'O bauzinho do pintor' was held, sponsored by the Petrobras Cultural Program in the Education for the Arts segment. The edition was dedicated to Brazilian literature, with the publication of the book 'O menino de engenho', by José Lins do Rego, illustrated by Portinari. The trunk with educational material was sent to public schools in Rio de Janeiro.


The War and Peace panels, painted for the UN headquarters in New York, were exhibited at the Municipal Theater in Rio de Janeiro. The panels were brought to Brazil by the Portinari Project, which took custody of them for the Brazilian government and the UN, and took charge of their restoration.

Professor João Candido was awarded the 'Marshal Cordeiro de Farias Military Merit Medal' by the War College.

Professor João Candido was admitted by the Council of the Order of Merit of Defense of the Ministry of Defense, in the 'Grade of Officer of the Supplementary Board'.

Professor João Candido received the 'Antônio Olinto Medal' from the Brazilian Writers Union, for relevant services rendered to Brazilian Culture.


Restoration of the War and Peace panels at the Gustavo Capanema Palace. The Open Restoration Workshop opened up the restoration process to the public (more than seven thousand visitors), giving context to Portinari's life and work, the history of the creation of the panels and their installation at the UN headquarters.

The second edition of the project 'O bauzinho do pintor' (The painter's trunk) was held, dedicated to the theme of art and the environment. The exhibition and workshops toured the states of Bahia, Pernambuco and Rio de Janeiro.

Professor Suely Avellar, Coordinator of the Portinari Project's Art-Education Center, gave talks to young educators from the Espaço Criança Esperança and the CIEP Presidente João Goulart, where she and her team set up the exhibition 'Brazil by Portinari'.

This exhibition was taken to the Casa de Cultura in Conservatória, Rio de Janeiro, the Casa de Cultura in Cidade de Deus and Casa Brasil, in Imbariê, Caxias, Rio de Janeiro.

Professor João Candido was awarded the 'Trip Transformadores Prize' by Editora TRIP.


The War and Peace exhibition was held at the Latin American Memorial in São Paulo, with panels, studies and documents on the creation and trajectory of the works. The opening was attended by former President Lula and then President Dilma Rousseff, accompanied by an entourage that included several Ministers of State, and was awarded the 'Paulo Mendes de Almeida Prize' by the Brazilian Association of Art Critics as "Best Exhibition of the Year".

This exhibition, excluding the original War and Peace panels, was set up at the University of Fortaleza (Unifor), presenting 52 of the painter's studies for his monumental panels, which were displayed at the entrance to the University, by means of life-size reproductions (14 meters high each panel).

The Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel samba school, from Rio de Janeiro, presented the storyline Por ti, Portinari: da tela para a realidade (For you, Portinari: from canvas to reality).

The War and Peace catalog was launched at the Memorial da América Latina, organized by Professor João Candido and Maria Duarte, Executive Director of the 'War and Peace Project', which had custody of the panels from 2010 to 2015.

The Portinari Project was awarded the 'ABERJE 2012 São Paulo' prize by the Brazilian Association of Corporate Communication.

Professor João Candido was elected "Personality of the Year" by the Brazilian Association of Art Critics (ABCA), receiving the Ciccillo Matarazzo Award.


A new version of the Portinari Portal has been published, with Portinari's work catalogued and digitized, as well as digital images of more than 12,000 documents. The result of more than 30 years of research by the Portinari Project, the portal presents a meticulous cataloging of the painter's work, covering both his life and the historical context in which he lived.

Oscar Niemeyer designed the eight-storey 'Portinari Museum', which was to be built next to PUC-Rio, on land granted by the City Council for this purpose.

The War and Peace exhibition in São Paulo was voted "Best exhibition of the year" by the Brazilian Association of Art Critics (ABCA).


The exhibition 'Portinari in the Castro Maya Collection' - IBRAM, was held at the Historical Museum of the State of Pará.

The War and Peace exhibition was held at the Salon d'Honneur of the Grand Palais in Paris. The Ministers of Culture of France, Jean-François Colin, representing Minister Aurélie Filippetti, and of Brazil, Marta Suplicy, gave speeches, as did the president of the Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Jean-Paul Cluzel, and the person responsible for the renovation of the UN headquarters in New York, Michael Adlerstein, at a ceremony attended by the Brazilian ambassador to France, José Maurício Bustani.

As part of the event, a round table on the Portinari Project brought together professors and researchers from the University of Paris VIII for a lecture given by Professor João Candido.

João Candido Portinari was awarded the 'Order of Rio Branco' by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


The 'Second Unveiling' ceremony to hand over the restored War and Peace panels took place in the plenary hall of the General Assembly at UN headquarters, in a performance-ceremony conducted by Bia Lessa. During the ceremony, Pope Francis' message on the meaning of war and peace was read out. UN Secretary-General Ban-Ki-Moon opened the ceremony with a moving speech, in which he asked the audience for a minute's silence to pay tribute to Portinari.

The exhibition 'The World of Candinho' was curated at Candido Portinari Urban Park in São Paulo.


Consultancy was provided for the curatorship of the Portinari popular exhibition at MASP.


Professor João Candido received the title of "Honorary Citizen of Chiampo", the hometown of his paternal grandfather, Giovan Battista Portinari, and at this ceremony he gave a lecture to Mayor Matteo Macilotti and his collaborators, in the presence of the Portinari family and local personalities.


Launch of Poemas de Portinari at the National Museum of Fine Arts. The book, originally published in 1999, is now illustrated with paintings by the artist and published by Funarte.

The documentary collection of the Portinari Project was digitized by the company DocPRO, which gives access to 30,000 images at

Candido Portinari was the first Brazilian artist to have his work published on the Google Arts & Culture Program platform. This initiative was inaugurated at a ceremony held at the Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo.

The A letter to Brazilians: 40 years of the Portinari Project exhibition was held at the Solar Grandjean de Montigny - University Museum of PUC-Rio.

The government of Veneto, a northern Italian region, made the teaching of Portinari compulsory in all schools in the region.


In honor of the 80th anniversary of the 'Brazil by Portinari' exhibition, in partnership with Google Arts & Culture, the Portinari Project curated the virtual exhibition that reconstituted the rooms with Portinari's works at the MoMA in New York in 1940. The exhibition was a critical and public success, ushering in the painter's worldwide fame.


The book Don Quixote was launched, with poems by Drummond, illustrations by Portinari and music by Norberto Macedo, the result of a partnership between the Castro Maya Museums, the Cervantes Institute and the Portinari Project.


On March 5, the Portinari for everyone exhibition was held at the MIS Experience in São Paulo.

And on March 14, the exhibition Portinari Ilustrador opened at the Italian Embassy in Brasilia. The Italian Embassy in Brasilia hosted the Portinari Illustrator exhibition in the Nervi Room from March 15 to 27. The Portinari Project brought together 28 prints, originals from the books O Alienista by Machado de Assis and Menino de engenho by José Lins do Rego.

Negotiations began for exhibitions of Portinari's War and Peace in Italy and China in 2024.

The Portinari Project's headquarters were moved to the new space provided by the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and its new phase was implemented, with funds from the Rouanet Law and ISS incentives, already approved and raised from Vale and Faros Investimentos, and with continued sponsorship from Portinari Licenciamentos.

From June 29 to September 12, the exhibition Portinari Raros was held at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Rio de Janeiro, curated by Marcello Dantas and supported by the Portinari Project.

On September 26, João Candido Portinari received the title of 'Officer of the Order of the Star of Italy' at the Italian Consulate in Rio de Janeiro, presented by Ambassador Francesco Azzarello. The tribute was in recognition of the promotion and consolidation of relations between Italy and Brazil.

The exhibition 'Portinari - Art and the Environment' was held, consisting of 23 digital replicas, printed with mineral pigment on cotton paper. The exhibition was divided into five modules that addressed important issues related to the environment and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Nine different locations in the state of Rio de Janeiro, with the support of the Federal Government's Culture Incentive Law and the sponsorship of the Vale Cultural Institute and Enauta Energia, hosted the exhibition between August 2022 and June 2023.


From June 14 to August 7, 2023, the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil in Belo Horizonte hosted the Portinari Raros exhibition, curated by Marcello Dantas and supported by the Portinari Project, featuring around 200 works.

The replica exhibition 'Portinari - num pé de café nasci' was curated as part of the São Paulo Coffee Festival, which took place at Ibirapuera Park from June 23 to 25, 2023. The exhibition commemorated the 120th anniversary of Portinari's birth, highlighting the relationship between the artist and coffee.

Previously shown in Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte, the Portinari Raros exhibition was also on display at the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, in Brasília, from August 29 to November 5, 2023.

Between August 23 and 27, the Paracatu Literary Festival (FliParacatu) hosted the 'Portinari Negro' replica exhibition. Portinari's canvases inspired by Afro-Brazilian history and culture highlighted the richness and diversity of black people, offering an in-depth look at their contribution to the cultural identity of Paracatu and Brazil.