The Museu Chácara do Céu (Rua Murtinho Nobre 93, tel. 21/2507-1932, www.museuscastromaya.com.br , noon–5 p.m. Wed.–Sun., R$2, free Wed.) is among Rio ’s most lovely museums. Surrounded by a beautiful hilltop garden designed by noted landscaper Roberto Burle Marx, the Museu Chácara do Céu is located in an attractive modernist house built in 1957 by Raimundo Castro Maia, a wealthy business magnate with a great eye for art.
His impressive private collection includes the works of some fine Brazilian masters, such as Alberto Guignard, Emiliano Di Cavalcanti, and Cândido Portinari. Also exhibited are sketches and paintings of Brazil  created by visiting Europeans, most notably Jean-Baptiste Debret, a French painter whose watercolors portray 19th-century Cariocas from all walks of life.
The international collection took a serious hit during Carnaval of 2006, when thieves entered the museum and made off with a Monet, a Picasso, a Matisse, and a Dali in broad daylight.
Adjacent to the Museu Chácara do Céu is the Parque das Ruínas (Rua Murtinho Nobre 169, tel. 21/2252-1039, 8 a.m.–8 p.m. Tues.–Sun.), a small but leafy park built around the atmospheric ruins of a palace that belonged to Laurinda Santos Lobo, a wealthy Carioca who was a generous patron of the arts during the early 1900s. Today, its renovated remains house a cultural center that features art exhibits. A small café offers magnificent views of Pão de Açúcar  and Corcovado .