Art: In Congress' Library

Blazing color and exuberant draughtsmanship last fortnight took their place among the symbolic nudes and frock-coated historical celebrities frescoed on the walls of Washington's rambling, rococo Library of Congress. The new murals, in a vestibule of the Hispanic Foundation section, swarmed with furiously mobile figures dressed in loud check shirts and billowing pajamas, working, gesticulating and lolling about in lush tropical landscapes and seascapes chemically blue. The man who had painted them was Candido Portinari, diminutive Brazilian, South America's foremost painter.

Commemorating "the work of the Spanish and Portuguese in the New World," Portinari's new murals told a fourfold story: 1) The...

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