Carlos Avelino on Rio de Janeiro.
“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.”