Home to major Brazilian art works, the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes in Rio de Janeiro surprises with quality and diversity. The building was designed by the Spanish architect Adolfo Morales de los Rios, who was inspired by the Louvre of Paris.
The original project was modified many times, resulting in a place with different architectonic styles such as Neoclassicism, as well as Italian and French Renaissance. The Museu Nacional de Belas Artes is a perfect example of the eclectic architecture of Rio de Janeiro of the XXth century.
How to get to the Museum of Fine Arts
Located in the historic city center of Rio de Janeiro, the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts in English) was officially created in 1937. Until 1976, the museum shared the building with the School of Fine Arts; however, the school was moved to the Ilha do Fundão.
Address: Avenida Rio Branco 199 – Cinelândia.
By Bus: From Ipanema, Leblon and Copacabana 154- 128- 413. The bus takes you to Avenida Almirante Barroso from where you have to walk 400 meters to the Museum.
By Metro: Go to Cinelândia station, the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes is on the right side of the Teatro Municipal.
- 8 BRL (reduced fee 4 BRL)
- Family ticket (up to 4 family members) 8 BRL
- Sundays FREE
- Tuesdays – Fridays 10am -6pm
- Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays 12am-17pm
Phone: (21) 3299-0600
No drinks or food permitted. Taking pictures is permitted, but NO flash.
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes
The Museu Nacional de Belas Artes disposes of four different exhibition rooms. The Brazilian Arts of the XlX Century Gallery is one of the biggest art galleries in Brazil and home to 230 works of the most important Brazilian artists of the 19th century. For example “Batalha do Avaí” (Battle of Avais) by Pedro Américo which measures 66m² and portrays the bloodiest war of South American history. Paraguay lost more than half of its population against Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay in the Battle of Avais. Interesting fact: The author immortalized himself in the piece, watch out for soldier number 33 in the center of the painting. Two other great treasures of the museum are the works “Batalha dos Guararapes” and “Primeira Missa no Brasil” (1860), both by Vitor Meireles.
The second section of the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes hosts the Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art Gallery, a large room reserved for the 20th century and contemporary art productions. This gallery is divided into two levels. The first one exposes works from the beginnig until the end of the 20th century. The second part exhibits pieces from the 80s to the present. Both exhibition rooms are set up chronologically which allows you to see the development of art in Brazil over time. The collection includes paintings, prints, sculptures, drawings and installations of iconic Brazilian artists such as Goeldi, Carlos Oswald, Lasar Segall, Portinari, Zélia Salgado, Fayga Ostrower, Pancetti, Abraham Palatnik, Vanda Pimentel, Daniel Senise, Gonçalo Ivo, Rubem Ludolf, Manfredo Souzaneto and many more.
Two galleries with a collection of 150 plaster sculptures are in the wing Galerias de Moldagens (Gypsotheque). Those statues range from the beginning of the 19th century until 1928. One of the highlights of the collection is the replica of The Winged Victory of Samothrace and other copies of the Classic period.
Through the Gypsoteque you reach a space reserved for Temporary Exhibitions which adds a new dynamic to your visit. The temporary exhibitions features the work of consecrated artists as well as the work of emerging artists and thus reinforces the link between the people and the museum. Check out the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes for yourself and lose yourself in centuries of Brazilian art, as well as foreign art.
Are you looking for more cultural activities and museums in Rio de Janeiro? Have a look at our category What to do when it rains!