“The face is the great landscape", Isolda used to say.
‘In search of beauty’
Drawings and paintings
Known by all for her intelligent and surprising spontaneity, generosity and joy of living, the great Brazilian Isolda was brave to her last moments on Earth.
1n 2007 The editor and organizer Arnold Eloy invited the public
and the press for an extraordinary exhibition in Gallery Men and Nature,
In St Marten's Latem of drawings and paintings of Isolda Hermes da Fonseca
'Isolda is like fire. She can turn anything negative into positive',
said about her a clairvoyant . And it was so.
-Isolda Hermes da Fonseca is honoured by many people as one of the best painters of Brazil.
Known by the powerful and the humble people for her intelligent and surprising espontaneity,
generosity and joy of living, the great Brazilian Isolda, was brave to her last moments on the Earth.
The name given to Isolda is perhaps inspired by the heart breaking music of Wagner, on the drama of 'Tristan and Isolda', a passionate, prohibited love and a romantic death, similar to Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', a romantic symbol of love's victory over all obstacles and all world's conventions and finally over death itself.
Indeed a mystical, poetic, romantic and a heroic music is made visible in the works of Isolda,
Particularly in the decisive force and delicacy of her drawings, some of which were first presented in an exhibition in her honour, 'The master of the Mother Pearl', in Rio in 2005, after her death, and which are now presented in Belgium, in the Gallery Man and Nature, in St Marten's Latem .
Isolda's work combines the and vigour and lust for life and sense for mysticism of her Brazilian native humble origins, from the region of the Amazon river (Pará), and the passion and adventure of Spanish conquistadores, from her mother's side, with the military discipline and power of the family of her father, and of her great uncle, the first president of Brazil, the historical figure Deodoro Hermes da Fonseca, who helped to create the Republic in Brazil, and her grand father, a later president of the Republic.
Isolda Hermes da Fonseca was born in 7 April of 1924 the presidential palace of the Catete, in Rio de Janeiro, and spent her early years as a child in a tropical and picturesque island called Paquetá in the Bay of Guanabara.
There she grew up in an elegant aristocratic family, in an atmosphere that was became source of much her reminiscences and inspiration.
Youngest sister of three brothers in the home of strong military commanders, though accepting to be protected and pampered by them, Isolda never allowed herself to be left behind. She was herself a General, when she needed to!
Isolda made her studies in Washington in the Corcoran school of Art, where she met the American painter Grover Chapman, who she married and with whom she continued her studies in Florence.
The couple have lived from their Art and bringing up their two children, Paula and Geraldine,
in their ateliers, and Art milieu.
An enthusiastic lover Music, Art, Poetry and Science, and even Science fiction, Isolda united in her work her own heroes of History and mythology, honoring of the achievements of the human spirit, from the Greek ideal to the Renascence and all Humanism up to the 21 century.
Her international carrier was brilliant, with innumerous exhibitions, and prizes world wide, and important publications in her name as the illustrations of a book of the sonnets of Shakespeare, and of the life of Francis of Assisi, and the Stations of the Cross for a church of Araruama in the state of Rio de Janeiro).
Though occasionally her fury was devastating, (especially if her clarity was gone), she was both charming and assertive.
Isolda combined these feminine and masculine qualities in a powerful creative force,
in herself as in her Art, gladdening all around her.. Her sense of humor was unbeatable.
Not even her own suffering at the end of her life could beat it.
About Isolda's direct familly
The great American painter Grover Chapman, with whom Isolda married, has become famous for his illustrations of the book A Guerra dos Canudos, of Euclides da Cunha (Rio de Janeiro, Salamandra. 1978), And his paintings inspired in the Brazilian folklore and several murals he painted in Brazil.
Paula, the youngest daughter of Grover and Isolda, born in Florence, is a psychologist, founder of the therapy centers Namasté in Brazil.
Geraldine van Chapman, (van Chapman), nature painter and spiritual philosopher, born in New York,was one of the collaborators and guest artists of this Gallery Man and Nature.
Due to a spiritual and philosophical dispute with the organizer Eloy,
van Chapman, as well as Myriam Vandenberghe have left the association with the gallery in 2008.
Presently working through the atelier Naturestudio in a philosophical community project.