Sacred Art: Catholic Saints and Candomblé Gods in Modern Brazil

By Pravina Shukla; Henry Glassie | Go to book overview

2
MODERN MASTERS OF SACRED ART

ACROSS THE STEEP STREET from the Church of the Third Order of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, the door is open. A tour guide says, as he herds his group past, that inside lies a workshop for the repair of old statues. Restoration is part of their mission, but the statues standing along the walls, tall and rich with color, are brand-new. This is Atelier Nós, shop below, apartment above, the place of Edival and Izaura Rosas. People flash by, up and down, but one glimpse and we enter. It is January 9, 2007. Materials matter, and the first thing Edival tells us is that cedar is his wood.

At the time Edival had a place for big projects and teaching at Jauá, in the country outside of Salvador. Ubiraci Tibiriça, Edival’s neighbor on the Ladeira do Carmo, a gentle man and a talented painter, gave us a ride out there a month after we had met Edival. A modest house of two stories faces a big blue pool where Ubiraci and his daughter Tauára enjoy a swim. Next to the house stands a machine shop with a gigantic bandsaw and a sleek power planer — the tools that precede the chisel in creation. An immense robotic apparatus, something like a lathe, fills the front of the shop, a pantógrafo that permits the simultaneous shaping of multiple wooden copies of a master image. Edival installed the machine in 1997 and abandoned it in 2002. It made him feel, he said, like a bricklayer, not an artist, and he has allowed a thick cloud of dust to settle over its mechanized intricacy.

Beside the shop, beneath a shed, lumber is piled, massive squared blocks of pale timber. The lumber is cedar, far better, Edival says, than the oak or pine

-27-

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Sacred Art: Catholic Saints and Candomblé Gods in Modern Brazil
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Title Page vii
  • An Introduction 1
  • 1 - The Historical Center 9
  • 2 - Modern Masters of Sacred Art 27
  • 3 - The Sculptor’s Story 65
  • 4 - Markets for Sacred Art 83
  • 5 - Ibimirim Carvers in the Sertão 103
  • 6 - Maragojipinho Sacred Clay in Bahia 151
  • 7 - TracunhaÉm Sacred Clay in Pernambuco 183
  • 8 - Painting in Olinda 245
  • 9 - Carving in Cachoeira 273
  • 10 - Return to Pelourinho 305
  • 11 - Saints and OrixÁs in Pelourinho 333
  • 12 - Smiths of the Sacred 381
  • 13 - The Painter of OrixÁs 423
  • 14 - Power and Beauty 455
  • 15 - Time Passes 477
  • Acknowledgments 487
  • Notes 489
  • Bibliography 511
  • Index 531
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