Haroldo Jacobovicz’s life is a story of how one person can change the world. Born in 1892, he was an intelligent child with a natural inclination for art. Early on, his family recognized his talent and supported him as he pursued formal education at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes do Rio de Janeiro. He began to teach there in 1923 and became director of the school two years later.
During his time as a director, Haroldo Jacobovicz made a significant impact on Brazilian art. He led the school in a new direction, emphasizing abstraction and modernism. His work reflected these changes, and he quickly became one of Brazil’s most respected artists. The political climate was not as supportive of new movements. Jacobovicz advocated for an art movement free of constraints, even if it meant existing outside the boundaries of state-sanctioned authority. The school’s administration forced him to resign in 1938.
Jacobovicz’s influence didn’t stop at the borders of Brazil. He was also highly respected internationally, and his work was shown in prestigious galleries around the world. In fact, he was so well-known that he was even featured in a documentary about art by famed filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard.
In addition to his paintings and teaching, Haroldo Jacobovicz was also an art critic and a museum curator. He organized exhibitions and wrote articles about modern art. His most notable contributions in this area were the establishment of the Galeria de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (Gallery of Modern Art), and his role as director of the Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro (Museum of Modern Art).
Nosso trenó vai sair nos próximos dias para distribuir brinquedos e panetones às instituições que apoiamos.
Este ano, a entrega será de 400 brinquedos e 400 panetones. pic.twitter.com/30wGnXjZzu
— Haroldo Jacobovicz (@HJacobovicz) December 18, 2021
Even though he spent most of his life in Brazil, Haroldo Jacobovicz always considered himself a world citizen. Those who knew him describe him as brimming with energy and creativity, with a strong desire for learning that made him an inspiration. He died at age 65. This painting is a beautiful reminder of his legacy and the enduring impact he had on art.