Car­los Avelino on Rio de Janeiro.

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“I could spend years try­ing to cap­ture all the dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties of this place in my paint­ings,” says Car­los Avelino of Urca, the his­toric Rio de Janeiro neigh­bor­hood where Car­men Mi­randa once lived and per­formed, and where the city’s first Por­tuguese set­tle­ment was founded in the 16th cen­tury. Pic­tured above in a wa­ter­color that the São Paulo–based art pro­fes­sor made dur­ing a trip in 2008, Urca is sit­u­ated be­tween Gua­n­abara Bay and the At­lantic Ocean on a quiet penin­sula over­looked by Pão de Açú­car (Sugar Loaf Moun­tain) and the smaller hill of Morro da Urca. “It’s a very spe­cial place, not yet over­taken by ur­ban bus­tle,” Avelino says. “With lush green slopes ris­ing above beaches of sun­bathing lo­cals, I find it per­fectly rec­on­ciles nat­u­ral beauty with ev­ery­day Brazil­ian life.”

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