Uruguay Arts and Music


The first architectural works of some interest date back to the mid-eighteenth century, such as the citadel of Montevideo, by D. Cardoso. A major development is noted in the last decades of the century, with the reconstruction of the fortress of S. Teresa by JB Howel, the parish church of the city of S. Carlos, the beautiful house of Manuel Cipriano del Mello, in Montevideo, a typical example of a colonial residence, the parish church of this same city, designed in 1784 by C. de Saa y Faría. In order to follow the work of this church, T. Toribio arrived from Spain in 1799, a neoclassical architect who left various and interesting works in Uruguay; his taste was followed by his son José (Casa Montero in Montevideo). In the sec. XIX, with the advent of the Republic, Uruguayan architecture underwent various European influences, especially French, giving rise to a period of eclecticism, with neo-Gothic, orientalizing and, later, works inspired by iron architecture. Among the most significant achievements we can mention, in Montevideo, the Plaza Independencia by C. Zucchi (1837), the asylum for orphans by V. Rabú (1875) and the central station by L. Andreoni (1897). The pictorial production of the century was mainly linked to romantic and nationalistic themes and has its major representative in JM Blanes. In the sec. XX Uruguayan architecture has entered the most vibrant European and Western cultural currents. The rejection of the academic and eclectic tradition was expressed in 1908 by A. Maini who, with the “Brasil” group, was connected to Viennese Secession, while the rationalist tendencies, already present in the work of L. Tosi, were accentuated by M. Cravotto (master plan of Montevideo, project of the Rambla Hotel, 1930-31). On this same line, C. Surracho and J. Vilamajó were substantially inserted; the latter, in the design of the village of Villa Serrana, implemented an interesting recovery of local stylistic and technical ways. In sculpture, the first significant Uruguayan artist is JM Ferrari, linked to the monumental and celebratory themes of late Romantic art (monument to General San Martín). In more recent years, worthy of mention is the work of A. Pena, of eclectic tendencies, of P. Mañe, E. Prati, J. Belloni and B. Michelena, the most sensitive to new experiences. Among the contemporary sculptors, usually close to the European movements, R. Bauzá and E. Yepes. In painting, the first notable artist of the century is R. Barradas (1890-1929), of realist inspiration, who later approached expressionism. The work of P. Figari (1861-1938) and above all that of J. Torres García (1874-1949) offers greater interest. In the visual arts, the birth of the Museo Nacional de Artes Visuales had great importance at the beginning of the twentieth century, in which there are the works of the major Uruguayan artists, to which were added those of those who emerged in the second half of the century: painters such as Carlos Tonelli (b.1937), Nelson Ramos (1932-2006), Cecilia Brugnini (b.1943) Clever Lara (b.1952).


The oldest folkloric substratum, linked to the populations of the Chana-Ciarrua and Tupi-Guaraní groups, almost disappeared with the European settlement; current popular music is mainly of Spanish origin. Among the popular forms of dance are the mediacaña, the cielito and the lively pericón (the national dance of Uruguay); vocal forms are the triste, the cipher, the milonga and the vidalita, all for solo voice, sometimes with guitar accompaniment. Forms of polyphonic vocal performance for two players are also possible (payada de contrapunto) on secular or religious texts. Forms of sung dances, accompanied by the Spanish guitar and accordion are the chimarrita, the cirana, the carangueijo and the cachinguengue. A drum, widespread in four measures, already used by the black population of Montevideo for a pantomime with music (candombe) is used to accompany the carnival dances. Visit ask4beauty for Uruguay as a tourist country. The history of cultured music begins in Uruguay from the second half of the century. XVIII. Largely dependent on contemporary European experiences (imported in particular by authors such as the Austrian S. Thalberg and the American LM Gottschalk), developed in particular thanks to the work of T. Giribaldi (1847-1930), who composed the first Uruguayan melodrama, La parisina (1878), L. Ribeiro (1854-1931), author of the opera Liropeya (1912), L. Sambucetti (1860-1926), director of the National Orchestra and author of the oratorio San Francisco de Asís, A. Broqua (1876-1946), remembered for the cantata Tabaré and for the opera La Cruz del Sur. L. Cluzeau-Mortet (1889-1957), V. Ascone (1897-1979), A. Soriano (1915) and others developed a style with a strong national imprint. E. Fabini (1882-1950), C. Cortinas (1890-1918), C. Estrada (1909-1970), B. Reyes, M. Maidanik, R. Storm, L. Campodonico and C. Metrogiovanni are among the personalities most important of contemporary Uruguayan music.

Uruguay Arts