0280 The Hidden Beginnings of a Breakthrough: Lina Bo Bardi’s First Steps in Brazil

  • Daniele Pisani (Author)

    Daniele Pisani is an architectural historian and holds a position as associate professor at the Politecnico di Milano, Italy. His publications include Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Complete Works (Milan, Barcelona and New York, 2013–2015), Uma genealogia da imaginação de Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Lições de Veneza (Porto 2017), O Trianon do MAM ao MASP. Arquitetura e política em São Paulo (19461968) (São Paulo 2019), and "A cidade é uma casa. A casa é uma cidade". Vilanova Artigas na história de um topos (São Paulo 2019).

Identifiers (Article)


Italian-born architect Lina Bo Bardi always claimed that she had moved to Brazil in the aftermath of World War II because the freedom ideals of the Italian Resistance had been betrayed. Recent studies argue she was merely accompanying her husband, Pietro Maria Bardi, who was organizing art exhibitions in Rio de Janeiro. However, as documented by the correspondence published here for the first time, Bo Bardi did not embark on the journey to the New World because of the failures of the Italian Resistance or simply as a companion to her husband: she had been charged with the task of ensuring Brazil’s participation in the eighth edition of the Triennale di Milano (1947). On the basis of the correspondence documenting this assignment, this essay fills a historiographic gap and, more importantly, aims to radically revise the narrative around the initial phase of Bo Bardi’s stay in Brazil, the country she increasingly felt as her own and where she eventually spent her entire life.


Lina Bo Bardi, Pietro Maria Bardi, Triennale di Milano, Piero Bottoni, Daniele Calabi, Giancarlo Palanti, Brazil Modern Architecture