On Active Reception and Parody: Belmiro de Almeida’s “Arrufos” (Lovers’ Quarrel)

art in the periphery

by Arthur Valle (Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro)

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Fig. 1. Belmiro de Almeida, Lovers’ Quarrel, 1887, oil on canvas, 89 x 116 cm, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro Fig. 1. Belmiro de Almeida, Lovers’ Quarrel, 1887, oil on canvas, 89 x 116 cm, Museu Nacional de Belas Artes, Rio de Janeiro

In this post, I would like to present a work by the Brazilian painter Belmiro de Almeida (1958-1935), entitled Arrufos (Lovers’ quarrel, fig. 1), dated 1887. Described as “a domestic episode, a quarrel between spouses” (1) by Gonzaga Duque (1863-1911), one of the most important Brazilian art critics of his time, Arrufos has traditionally been compared to a painting by the French painter Henri Gervex, entitled Retour du bal (Return from the Ball, fig. 2). Gervex’s painting had been exhibited at the Parisian Salon of 1879, drawing the attention of art critics, notably Émile Zola, who described it as “a scene of jealousy between a woman in tears and a gentleman in a suit, nervously trying…

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