The Art of Diplomacy: BraziIian Modernism Painted for War reveals the hidden story of Brazilian artists’ contribution to Britain’s war effort. Open from 6 April to 22 June 2018, the exhibition features works by 20 of Brazil’s finest Modernist artists, on loan from British public collections, commemorating the story of an extraordinary collaboration between the UK and Brazil at the outbreak of WWII, and the first Brazilian art exhibition held in London.


In 1944, alongside the nearly 25,000 Brazilian troops that joined the Allies to fight in the War, a group of 70 of Brazil’s most prominent artists donated their works for the first ever Brazilian collective exhibition in Britain. The exhibition took place at the Royal Academy of Arts and the Whitechapel Gallery in London, alongside six other galleries across the UK. The sale of the works raised funds for the British military efforts, giving voice to the artists’ support of democracy, domestically and in the context of the War. Many found their way into leading UK public collections.


Following extensive research, paintings by 20 of the artists have been traced in public collections in the UK and will be reunited for the first time since the original show in 1944. The UK lenders to the exhibition include Tate, the Hepworth Wakefield, Ferens Art Gallery, and the Scottish National Gallery. Among the 24 works discovered are paintings by some of Brazil’s most renowned figures of modernism including Candido Portinari, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, Lasar Segall, Milton Dacosta and Roberto Burle-Marx.

The Art of Diplomacy: BraziIian Modernism Painted for War is curated by Adrian Locke, Senior Curator at the Royal Academy of Arts, and Hayle Gadelha, Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Brazil in London. It takes place at Sala Brasil, the gallery of the Embassy, as part of its programme of historic and contemporary exhibitions.

You can see the Catalog HERE.