On this day… died Anita Malfatti

Anita Malfatti is acclaimed as the first Brazilian artist to introduce the European and American forms of Modernism to Brazil.

Anita Malfatti

In 1917/18 she presented 53 works very influenced by the German Expressionism in a solo exhibition, however the exhibition was considered controversial by that time. Her expressionist style and subject were bit revolutionary for the complacently old-fashioned art expectations of the most of Brazilian high society, who were not prepared for these influences.

Her presence was very important during the Week of Modern Art (Semana de Arte Moderna) in 1922, where she and the Groupe of Five made revolutionary changes in the structure and response to modern art in Brazil, becoming a milestone to the Brazilian history of art. During this week, she and other artists exhibited their works, one of the most commented of Malfatti’s paintings of this time was O Homem Amarelo.

Malfatti received many critiques, but the harshest one was from the writer Monteiro Lobato, after visiting her exhibition he wrote and published a review with the title ‘Paranoia or Mystification?’

Anita Malfatti died on this day in 1964 in São Paulo, Brazil.

Samba, 1945


  • Malfatti was born with an atrophy on her right arm and hand, a disability that she carried her whole life.