Cacao Harvest by Candido Portinari (1954)


Cacao Harvest by Candido Portinari was created in 1945 and depicts the process of harvesting the cacao pod in three phases.

A painting that encapsulates Brazilian modernism in art, Cocoa Harvest (1954) uses a composition of blue and green tones with a light dab of red to depict the image of farmers harvesting cacao. Though not much is said about the painting itself, it shows the process of taking the cacao from tree to table from the background to the forefront as you take in the actions of the three farmers.

According to the Google Arts & Culture webpage, this painting is a “representation of three tenants within a cocoa plantation perspective view” (Projeto Portinari). In other words, the different stages that the cacao goes through before it can be consumed by anyone.

The furthest figure we see is the man gathering the cacao pods, and from then we see in the foreground a man holding a basket full of these pots who is pouring them toward the third figure in this painting. This third figure is the closest to the viewer and he is the one cutting up the pods,  this but further from this entire process that is happening are the cacao trees that are repeated and fading away as the background of the painting. 

If you would like to read more about this painting or about Candido Portinari himself,  visit Projeto Portinari as they have his entire collection and explain how his work is highly was vital for Brazilian modernism.