This website has been designed to offer its visitors the opportunity to discover that, in their cities of silence, symbols found in artistic tomb decorations stir the deepest and most significant of human feelings.

The struggle for the secularization of Brazilian cemeteries began in 1870 by initiative of Republican politicians and Masonic lodges. We can assume that the funerary art produced in Brazil, whitch takes place during a period called Preimeira República, takes roots in two distinct situations. In metropolitan centers “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. Who were considered to be academics and some taken as modernist. In the countryside, a kind of standardized production at local mable yards was predominant and inspired by the models taken from specialized European manuals. Within this wide range of possibilities, grave marker artisans have also employed regional materialsin their reditions of religious, ilustrative, and vernacular motifs.

I believe that once made available on the internet, this material will provide access to a unique repository of rare documents, which in turn will inform other investigations on funerary art in Brazil.

– Maria Elizia Borges.

Maria Elizia Borges

Productivity Researcher at CNPq (PQ-1D). Teacher in graduate courses of History (FCHF), Universidade Federal de Goiás. Author of articles on funerary art in Brazil published in this country and abroad. Former faculty member of the School of Archiecture at instituição Moura Lacerda (Ribeirão Preto, 1992) and teacher of graduate-level history courses at Universidade Estadual Paulista – UNESP (Franca, 1994-95). Appointed City Secretary of Culture in Ribeirão Preto, SP (1993). Member of the Brazilian Art History Committee, Brazilian Art Critic Association, National Association of Art Researchers, and, in the United States, the Association for gravestone studies.