Nicolas-Antoine Taunay (1755–1830), France
View of the Road of Quebra Chángala in the Alto da Boa Vista, ca. 1816–1830
Oil on canvas
Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros
Taunay arrived in Brazil as part of the French Artistic Mission of artists, invited to Rio de Janeiro by King Dom João VI of Portugal to establish an arts academy. João VI’s father, Dom Pedro III, fleeing Napoleon I, had moved the Portuguese Court to Brazil in 1808 where it remained until Brazilian independence in 1821. This scene is one of five Taunay painted of the Tijuca Forest, a tropical rainforest in the city of Rio, where he lived between 1816 and 1821. The painting’s expansive sky is a convention of Dutch landscape painting that is also visible in Post’s work. The equilibrium and rigor of its composition and treatment are signs of the neoclassical training Taunay received much earlier in his career while studying in Rome, a center for landscape painting in the 1770s.