_US$ 100.00 ~
Maria Quitéria de Jesus, born in 1792 in a farm in Feira de Santana, Bahia, Brazil is dubbed by many the Brazilian Joan of Arc. Against her father's will, she joined the armed forces in the fight for independence, disguising herself as a man, cutting her hair short and donning her brother in law's uniform. She was a key contributor and a part of the front that took Salvador from the Portuguese in 1823.
By the time the other soldiers caught up with the fact that Maria, or 'Soldier Medeiros' (her brother in law's last name), was actually a lady, she had won Major José Antônio da Silva Castro's trust. He came in her defense with the argument that she was a valuable asset, disciplined and very skilled at handling weapons. Even though she was a tough woman, Maria was very feminine and when finally allowed to be herself, she adapted a skirt into the uniform. Quitéria was the very first female member of the army in Brazil.
Many events highlight Quitéria's life as a soldier, one of the most known being the time she surrendered three Portuguese soldiers at gunpoint in a trench, taking them prisoners single handedly. She was also part of 'Batalhão dos Periquitos', led by Silva Castro, a unit in the 'Exército Libertador'. Their army invaded Salvador and took the capital away from Portuguese rule. Many people don't realize that well after a year Dom Pedro I claimed control over Brazil, the Portuguese still had influence in important parts of the country, as good portion of them fled north to Salvador, the country's first capital. Dom Pedro's stakes were down south, area that comprehended mainly the Southeast Region of current day's Brazil.
For her acts, Maria Quitéria was honored by Dom Pedro I with the title of Knight of the Order of the Southern Cross. For that, the Emperor held a ceremony himself in Rio de Janeiro, on August 20th, 1823. When asked by Dom Pedro what she would like to request from him, her answer regarded her broken relationship with her father. She asked Dom Pedro I to write him a letter endorsing her efforts in joining the armed forces during such an important period and requesting her father's forgiveness himself in name of Quitéria.
After mending things with her father, Maria Quitéria wedded long time boyfriend Gabriel Pereira de Brito, with whom she had a child, Luísa Maria da Conceição. In 1835, her father's death lead to a brief return to the countryside, where she tried to plead her rights regarding his assets. Unable to reclaim his inheritance, she moved back to Salvador where she died faded in obscurity, in 1853.
Maria Quitéria is one of six important revolutionary figures that team-up in the first set of the '!Y Que Venga La Revolución! Collectibles Series'. His memory is preserved and remembered in a limited, numbered and signed batch of silkscreen prints.
Manually printed, the artwork shown here is limited to a fifty copies total run, carefully laid layer after layer in a total of 4 different colors. In the use of the silkscreen technique, it is possible to achieve solid and uniform colors, unmatched by any other printing process. That characteristic is clearly noticed in the pieces, and is attained after a series of steps that comprehend art preparation, photolithography engraving, silkscreen photosensitive emulsion transfer, paint preparation, layer registration and the printing itself.
In this series, the original pencil drawings where given a manual vector final artwork treatment, providing extreme control over the quality and thickness of each stroke drawn, for the best read and reproduction using silkscreening. The digital files where then engraved through photographic and chemical processes onto photolithographies, that are basically high resolution + contrast transparencies on which the designs were imprinted in pitch black. This last step allows large size high precision transfers to the silkscreens, with great control over layer registration and so on.
The silkscreens are covered with photo sensitive emulsion, a pasty substance that solidifies after being exposed to light for a period of time. The black artwork on the photolithography blocks the light generated in a vacuum sealed lightbox, that holds the artwork tight against the screen for precise transfer. After a few minutes the screen transfer is done and the silk can be hosed with water as the parts not exposed to the light are easily washed off. The whole idea is that the paint flows through the silk pores and is blocked in the emulsion covered areas, hence replicating the artwork found on the photolithography.
Now an important step in producing high quality final prints is taking care of the color/layer registration, that means matching and fitting the shapes in different colors properly in the final composition. As there is some expansion/contraction of the artwork in between transfer steps, at this point we need to print a registration reference using the main outline artwork. The fill in colors bleed 0.2mm into the strokes, that are placed on top as the last layer applied on the print, in a technique known as 'trapping'.
The paint was mixed and prepared manually as well, customized according to color studies made on the computer. With our paint mixed we finally can pull it through the silkscreen, using a squeegee, dragging it firmly and steady from top to bottom on each pass.