Guignard, who was born in the State of Rio de Janeiro, and spent the first 30 years of his life in Europe where he was educated and studied art, returned to Brazil in the late 1920s to begin his artistic career. Among the many subjects which fascinated him, none was more important than the landscapes of Minas Gerais. Guignard moved to the mountainous state of Minas Gerais in the 1940s and he remained there for the rest of his life. He loved the countryside so much that it was here where he wished to live and die. Amongst the wonderful colonial cities of Minas Gerais, Ouro Preto is without question the most picturesque. Richly studded with churches and criss-crossed with innumerable cobblestone streets, Ouro Preto offered the artist a never-ending source of inspiration. While in his earlier paintings the architectural details of houses and churches were meticulously reproduced in his work, over time the artist's brushwork became freer and his depiction more lyrical and dream-like. His interest in Plein-aire painting , which he had taught in his early years in Rio de Janeiro, could fully express itself in the exhilarating mountain landscapes and ancient buildings of its colonial towns. No one painted Ouro Preto's churches more frequently and with more subtle, poetic understanding than Guignard. He truly captured the spirit of this remote countryside, where gold, silver and precious stone flowed from the earth and sustained a unique culture unlike any other in Brazil. The present painting, Paisagem de Ouro Preto, is a perfect example of the artist's fascination with his adopted state. Clouds and mountains form the background to one of the many baroque churches. It is said that a church was built everytime another gold or silvermine was discovered, thus forming a continuous architectural expression of thanksgiving for the abundance of riches. Humble, brightly painted colonial houses in the foreground suggest the simple neighborhood in which the church is placed. It is this atmosphere which constantly inspired the artist and which enriches the viewer's understanding of this enduring Brazilian landscape.
We are grateful to Mr. Jean Boghici for his assistance in authenticating this lot.