Arthur Bispo do Rosario Wanted to Contain the World in Art

By Luiza Franco

Living in a psychiatric institution, the Brazilian artist used found materials to catalog the world.

As he would later tell the story, Arthur Bispo do Rosario was 29 years old when he had his first vi­sion. It was in the backyard of the house where he lived in Rio de Janeiro, three days before Christmas in 1938, that seven angels came to him. Bispo left the house and wandered the city streets for two days before making his way to a monastery, where he intro­duced himself as “the one who had come to judge the living and the dead.” The friars called the police, and Bispo was soon diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Before then, he’d spent time in the Brazilian navy, as a...

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