Rio de Janeiro Landscapes

“Contrary to the popular belief, nature is not made up of landscapes. Although it contains mountains, valleys, plains, rivers, bays and much more, these natural forms only become “landscapes” when they are framed by the viewer’s gaze and grouped into compositions. The landscape thus depends on the observer’s gaze just as much as the actual physical features being observed.

In the case of Rio de Janeiro, however, it hardly seems that this truth applies. Here, the unique arrangement if rock outcroppings, beaches and forests is so perfect – as though it were designed that way- it tends to belie the idea of beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

Anyone seeing Guanabara Bay for the first time has a good reason to stand awestruck. It is not by chance that over the centuries countless travelers left records of their wonderment, all contributing to Rio’s renown as one of the world’s most beautiful cities. ”

– from the Introduction to Rio de Janeiro, Landscape and Image exhibition at the new Rio Art Museum (MAR).

I checked out this beautiful, newly built museum, this weekend. I was so moved by the gorgeous exhibition of Rio landscapes from the past 200+ years, that I almost cried. So grateful to be living in this beautiful city.

Rio is incredible in that it is a place where one can always find beauty in the ugliness (ex: favelas have the best views and also the best graffiti art). But also ugliness inside the beauty (Guanabara bay and also the Rodrigo Freitas lake are both polluted with sewage).