The struggle for the secularization of Brazilian cemeteries began in 1870 by initiative of Republican politicians and Masonic lodges. We could assume that the funerary art produced in Brazil takes roots in two distinct situations during the First Republican period in the country (1890-1930). In the large cities, “European style” mausoleums were built and decorated with academic and modernist sculptures by artists that included Brazilians as well as Italian, German, French and Portuguese immigrants and their descendants. In cemeteries of small interior towns, gravemarkers were predominantly mass-produced at local marble yards after European models taken from illustrated catalogs. Within this wide range of possibilities, gravemarker artisans also employed regional materials in their renditions of religious, illustrative, and vernacular motifs.
I believe that once made available on the World Wide Web, this material will provide access to a unique repository of documents, which in turn will inform other investigations on funerary art in Brazil.