Museu Internacional de Arte Naïf do Brasil
A five-minute walk uphill from the Estação Cosme Velho, the Museu Internacional de Arte Naïf do Brasil (Rua Cosme Velho 561, Cosme Velho, tel. 21/2205-8612, www.museunaif.com.br, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Tues.–Fri., noon–6 p.m. Sat.–Sun., R$8) lays claim to having the world’s largest collection of arte naïf, or naive art.
The delightfully expressive and colorful paintings in this colonial mansion portray many elements of popular Brazilian culture, including futebol, Carnaval, and scenes from daily life.
Although most of the works exhibited (spanning five centuries) are by self-taught Brazilian artists, there are international works from over 100 countries. A small boutique sells naïf art from contemporary artists.
A little farther uphill from the Museu Internacional de Arte Naïf do Brasil, on the opposite side of the street, is the Largo de Boticário (Rua Cosme Velho 822). Named after the imperial family’s boticário (apothecary), who was a resident, this enchanting 19th-century square resembles a period film set with its colorfully painted villas offset by tropical foliage.
© Michael Sommers from Moon Brazil, 2nd Edition