Museu Nacional de Belas Artes

The museum, officially established in 1937 by the initiative of the Minister for Education Gustavo Capanema, was inaugurated in 1938 by president Getúlio Vargas.

Avenida Rio Branco, 199 Centro

The collection of the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes derives from the transfer of the Portuguese Court to Brazil in the early 19th century, when King John VI brought along with him part of the Portuguese Royal Collection. This art collection stayed in Brazil after the King’s return to Europe and became the core collection of the National School of Fine Arts.

When the Museu Nacional de Belas Artes was created in 1937, it became the heir not only of the National School’s collection, but also of its headquarters, a 1908 eclectic style building projected by Spanish architect Adolfo Morales de los Ríos. The Museum is now one of the most important cultural institutions of the country, as well as the most important museum of Brazilian art, particularly rich in 19th-century paintings and sculptures.

The collection includes more than 20,000 pieces, among paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints, of Brazilian and international artists, ranging from High Middle Ages to contemporary art. It also includes smaller assemblages of decorative arts, folk and African art. The museum library has a collection of about 19,000 titles. The building was listed as Brazilian national heritage in 1973.

Contacts & Details
tue, wed, thu, fri 10:00 am – 5:00 pm; sat, sun 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm


T: +55 21 3299-0600
W: Website

Avenida Rio Branco, 199 Centro

Past Exhibitions
Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art Gallery
The “Modern and Contemporary Brazilian Art Gallery” is a major permanent exhibition of the...
01 Mar 2015 - 01 Oct 2015
Narrativas Poéticas – Coleção Santander no Brasil
After being exhibited in eight Brazilian capitals, Narrativas Poéticas – Coleção Santander no Brasil [Poetical...
04 Sep 2015 - 01 Aug 2016
TRIO Bienal: Reflexões sobre o Reflexo – Dinâmicas do Cinetismo no Tridimensional
This exhibition that integrates TRIO Bienal explores mirroring effects and opacities issues in the three-dimensional...
11 Sep 2015 - 26 Nov 2015
Witnesses of Faith: Perspectives on the Sacred
The exhibition “Witnesses of Faith: Perspectives on the Sacred“, is inspired by the Pope...
06 Apr 2016 - 03 Jul 2016
See And Feel By Touch: Social Inclusion in MNBA
“Ver e Sentir Através do Toque [See And Feel By Touch]” at MNBA provides an aesthetic appreciation...
09 Sep 2016 - 29 Jan 2017