Heitor Dos Prazeres, the Brazilian who Turned Music and Dance into Paintings


Heitor Dos Prazeres (1898-1966) was a samba musician and self-taught painter in Rio de Janeiro. Son of a military musician and a seamstress, he grew up surrounded by Rio’s Afro-Brazilian music scene which was dominated by carnival. In his late ’30’s he developed an interest in painting and started portraying the life and culture he observed in the streets of Rio’s favelas, including mulatas dancing, people in neighborhood bars, and scenes from the genres of carnival and Rio’s extravagant downtown entertainment district. By the 1950’s he was a known and celebrated “naif” artist whose works today are included in private and museum collections all over Brazil, and the subject of several books and catalogs.

For more, read Alvaro Neder’s biography of Dos Prazeres here.

(Neder is a noted professor, researcher and journalist of Brazlian music theory and literature.)

For works by Dos Prazeres, please visit our Brazilian Folk Art/Self-Taught Artists portfolio on the website.