Nature and civilization: the decorative panels of the Teatro Amazonas foyer

The decorative panels in the foyer of the Teatro Amazonas, inaugurated in 1896, stand out from the rest of the building's ornamental iconography. The rubber trade brought great wealth to the capitals of Pará and Amazonas and as these cities gained national and international fame, their urban fabric and forms of sociability underwent significant changes. The article looks for parallels between the landscape representations of Amazonian nature adorning the building's foyer, the construction of the modern city, and social uses of the Teatro Amazonas, symbol of the era and emblem of the newly rich elite, who were then taking their place on the regional and national stages. The Teatro Amazonas formed the center of the era's social life and its foyer played host to veritable rituals of 'civilization', in which Brazilian and foreign guests enjoyed the fine setting of Amazon's nature as represented in the decorative wall panels.

iconography; nature; identity; civilization

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