There are several good reasons to go see this museum, which is the only one of its size throughout Latin America. The first is its renovation by architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha.*
Built in the late 19th century, the art gallery was originally an Italian neoclassical building. Paulo Mendes da Rocha has maintained its external structure while replacing roofs with skylights, providing it with an opening to the heavens and a very pleasant light. He has deleted partitions, expanded spaces and connected them by suspended walkways, almost creating a universe as vast as his country.
Once you have crossed the hall, which displays sculptures by international artists such as Rodin, Giacometti, and Niki de Saint Phalle, you soak up all its Brazilian ‘spirit'. Sculptures, paintings, photographs… over 8,000 works recount two centuries of creation. You will also get to know a great Brazilian painter, Almeida Júnior. He is considered the South American equivalent of Gustave Courbet. Observe his eye for detail, his humanistic realism. It's a beautiful discovery.
Praça da Luz, 2
São Paulo 01120-010
+55 (0)11 3324 1000