Head, c.1940
Oil on paper
45 x 34.5 cm
Harris Museum & Art Gallery

About the artist


ALCIDES DA ROCHA MIRANDA (1909 in Rio de Janeiro –2001 in Rio de Janeiro) was an architect, designer, painter and university lecturer. He attended the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes (ENBA, the National School of Fine Arts), and subsequently graduated in architecture in 1932, pursuing his career from a modernist stance from the outset at the Costa & Warchavchik architectural practice. Concomitantly, he studied painting under Portinari and also under Guignard and André Llhote at the Arts Institute of the University of the Federal District (1935-37). He participated in the second Salão de Maio de São Paulo in 1938, the Guignard Group Exhibition in 1943 and the itinerant 20 Artistas Brasileños show in 1945. In 1949, he joined the Brazilian organizing committee for the 1956 International Museums Conference held in Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais. Rocha Miranda was inspired by innovations in higher education and put forward the idea of integrating all arts as he was appointed as Professor at the Architecture and Urbanism Faculty of the University of São Paulo, which would later be realized at the University of Brasília (UnB). There, he was a member of its founding council, creating the Central Arts Institute, which he directed later, and of the planning team for the Faculty of Education and the Dois Candangos auditorium in 1962. Rocha Miranda joined the National Historic and Artistic Heritage Institute (Iphan; at the time, Sphan – Serviço do Patrimônio Histórico e Artístico Nacional), serving as the head of arts section of the Studies and Listed Buildings Division in 1940, and retired in 1978. He received various honours and accolades in Brazil. He is the father of the artist Luiz Aquila (1943-). One of the instigators of the 1944 Exhibition of Modern Brazilian Paintings in London, Alcides da Rocha Miranda donated to the show two drawings, both entitled Composition; one of them was sold for £2.0s.0d. (two pounds, zero shillings and zero pence) to Estlin Graundy and one oil painting, Head, which belongs to the Harris Museum, in Lancashire.

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