São Paulo: Luz Train Station and Pinacoteca (11/21/16 Part 2)

November 21, 2016

From downtown, we took the metro to Luz, the largest and most historic train station in São Paulo.  Through this station have passed agricultural products from far-flung farms and plantations, as well as natural resources such as coal and minerals.  Luz was the hub of transportation activity as well as the place where immigrants entered the country back in the late 19th and early 20th century when the city was beginning to expand rapidly.

Luz train station, the oldest in SP, from Pinacoteca. It was through Luz station that immigrants first arrived in Brazil.
Inside Luz Station it is a zoo – throngs of people rushing every which way. Crowds of people cluster around the doors to get on and the trains are always crowded. Luz is a connecting station for every subway line in SP.
Brazilian Constitution, illustrated graphically on the walls of Luz Station
Brazilian Constitution, illustrated graphically on the walls of Luz Station by a collaborative group of school children.
20161121_155143 (2)
Detail of two of the “bubbles” which represent articles of the Constitution

 Across from the station, in Praça da Luz, is a historic building called the Pinacoteca, from the Latin word for art gallery.  In this museum are housed works by Brazilian painters and sculptors from the 18th and 19th centuries.  There are also temporary (which are located in Pinacoteca’s other building in the district of  Bom Retiro) and permanent expositions of modern Brazilian art. This is what we ended up seeing.


The building was constructed in 1900 and was originally a lyceum of arts and crafts.  It was renovated in the 19990s and since then has become one of the most important cultural centers in Brazil. We went inside as much to see the building as the artwork. 

Looking up from one of the courtyards
Fernando Limberger,
This is a piece of artwork by Fernando Limberger, “Contencao verde Botanica SP”

There were artworks made of words:

There are words overlapping on each layer of this circle.
There are words, made of glass, overlapping on each layer of this circle.



A fantasy landscape made of knitted yarn:



Installation by artist Ana Maria Tavares, with mirror panels on all sides which give a sometimes distorted reflection.


This is my reflection as I take a photograph.
Hallway flanked by galleries on both sides

One of these galleries contained paintings by Brazilian artists.

Ivan Serpa (1923-1973),
Rio de Janeiro artist Ivan Serpa (1923-1973), “Figura” (Figure), 1964; oil on canvas
Gilvan Samico, from Recife (1928-2013), woodcut on paper; Top: “A louca do jardim” (The Madwoman in the Garden), 1963; Bottom: “Alexandrino e o passaro do fogo” (Alexandrino and the Firebird), 1962

We saw sculptures:

Animal totem in a courtyard


Flavio Cerqueira (Sao Paulo, 1983 – ) “Antes que eu me esqueca” (Before I Forget Myself), 2013.

By the time we emerged and wanted to take a walk at the adjoining park, Praça da Luz, it was 6 pm and the park was closed, the entry gate padlocked. We looked through the bars at the beautiful tropical plants and meandering paths within.

Looking through the locked gates at Luz Park, where it would have been lovely to go for a stroll.
Luz Park from the entrance gate.
Luz Park from the entrance gate.

We headed back to Vila Mariana on the metro. It was rush hour on a weekday and Luz Station was teeming with people anxious to get home, Luz Station being a hub with connections to the other lines in the São Paulo Metro system. As “idosos” (elderly – age 60 and over), we got to ride free!


3 thoughts on “São Paulo: Luz Train Station and Pinacoteca (11/21/16 Part 2)

  1. Fun fact! The materials used to build it were brought from the UK. 🙂 That was one of the stations that I would change subway lines every day at rush hour. You got a glimpse of what’s like living there.

    That said, the Pinacoteca brings me so many memories… Whenever I had a bad week and needed a bit more energy before going to work on Saturdays, I would go there just to enjoy the art and relax. And since the museum if free on Saturdays it was very convenient that my work would only start at 3pm.

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