Originally from the city of Pernambuco in northern Brazil, Cícero Dias represented in his highly imaginative and whimsical compositions the true colors of Brazilian popular culture. His drawings and paintings have a strong lyrical character and are filled with unforeseeable things. After his first exhibition in Rio de Janeiro in 1928, he was immediately embraced by the local modernists, among them Mario de Andrade and Ismael Nery, who considered him one of the most creative minds of the avant-garde. This exhibition caused quite a revolt, on the one hand, his friend and critic, Graça Aranha described him as a surrealist; on the other, the general public rejected the show. To this, Cícero replied that he was not very familiar with the Surrealist movement and that his inspiration was drawn from the richness of folk art in his native Pernambuco.
Cícero left for Paris in 1937 after participating and organizing several shows, all considered revolutionary and with tremendous success. In Paris he had a show at the Jeanne Castel Gallery after which his work was described as "splendidly civilized savagery" confirming again his originality and creativity. His popularity drew him close to the major artists of the time, including Picasso and Paul Eluard, with whom he shared many moments and correspondence.
In 1942 Cícero was held prisoner of war by the Germans and was released in Portugal after negotiations with the Brazilian government. After his release, Cícero remained in Portugal for several years, again becoming a known figure within the local artistic community. During this period his paintings underwent a change in subject matter, yet not in color or originality. His palette remained vivid in colors and the compositions tended to depict single, organic figures filling the pictorial space or landscapes rendered with bold brushstrokes, again filling the composition with flat planes and vivid lines of color. La pensée reveuse is one of the paintings executed during his Lisbon years and it clearly shows the force of the artist's style. The strength of the composition is underlined by the frontal position of the sitter, by the lively colors and the daring use of line and abstract forms to create the surroundings of the sitter.
In October 2000, La pensée reveuse was presented to the artist in his Parisian studio and he recognized it as one of the paintings belonging to the Fase Vegetal, in which organic shapes of color and clearly defined lines predominate in the overall composition. The Latin American collectors know very few paintings of this period since they were mostly sold -and have remained, in European collections since the 40s.
We are grateful to the artist for confirming the authenticity of this painting.