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Date Born.:

Painter, Designer, Sculptor 


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Last update: 02/04/2018

By: Virginia Barbosa - Librarian of the Fundação Joaquim Nabuco

Tudo é estilo em Corbiniano, tudo é seu nome acrescido das paixões que ele transformou na pedra de seus metais
Everything is stylish in Corbiniano, everything is his name plus the passions he turned into the stone of his metal. (LEAL, 2006, p. 127).

Designer, painter and sculptor from Olinda, José Corbiniano Lins, was born on 2 March 1924.

Form the age of eight, he used to play by copying drawings, paintings, engravings. His taste for the artistic design came with the studies at the Pernambuco School for Aprentice Craftsmen (later the Technical College, the Pernambuco Centre for Technological Education (CEFET) and today, the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Pernambuco).

In 1948, the Recife Society of Modern Art (SMAR) was founded by a group of artists, including HelioFeijó, Abelardo da Hora, Ladjane Bandeira, Augusto Reinaldo, Darel Valença, Delson Lima, Corbiniano, Reynaldo Fonseca, Samico and Celina Lima Verde. Thanks to the determination of some artists, the Collective Atelier was created, and the group that was part of the Atelier founded the Club of Engraving, both linked to SMAR.

In 1949, he began to paint, and in the following year was already participating in the Official Salon of the Pernambuco State Museum.

Corbiniano Lins has conceived his sculptures using Styrofoam, metal, and aluminium since the early 1960s. Before moving to metal, Corbiniano models his sculptures in Styrofoam. Only after that does he make them in aluminium. Aluminium is lighter, and if you need retouching, just use your own metal file, which reveals no correction marks, the artist says. Previously he built with clay, iron and other materials. Interestingly, he works the Styrofoam block with a simple instrument: a regular knife.

Among his many sculptures, the highlight is for the sinuous female form. Certainly, by being born into a family of six women, Corbiniano has them as reference. All women are in every one of his women, says Leal (2006, p. 27), author of a book on the artist. He adds, on another page, the voice of Corbiniano on his female sculptures: If I am Corbiniano today, I owe it to the woman [...] (p. 61). They are also featured in some of his silkscreen albums: Recife de Janeiro a Janeiro (Recife from January to January), Xangô Número 2 (Xangô Number 2), Nus (Nudes), Mulher(Woman), Ela(She).

Corbiniano has his works spread over several cities in Brazil: carved panels, concrete and aluminium sculptures, paintings ... So many that he doesn’t know the fate of some. If I was organized, had everything dated, in folders, with the names of collectors, the addresses of all pieces,I would not be me. I am that as well. (LEAL, 2006, p. 37)

Corbiniano’s artistic careeris already over half a century long. The history of art in Pernambuco has a reference in him, represented by his performance, creation and participation in various group and solo exhibitions in galleries, museums, cultural centres and art salons in Recife, Olinda, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Europe and Latin America. We point out:


1952 – Joined the Collective Atelier of Recife Society of Modern Art.
Participated in the Salon of the Pernambuco State Museum and received an honourable mention.
Along with other artists, founded the Engraving Club, linked to the Recife Society of Modern Art.

1954 –Received anaward at the Hall of the 1st Exhibition of Collective Ateliers.
Exhibited in Goiânia, Goiás during the First National Congress of Intellectuals.
Presented works in a Brazilian print exhibition that toured eight European countries, as well as Argentina and Mongolia.

1955 –Received an award at the Official State Hall. Participated in the exhibition sponsored by the Recife Society of Modern Art in Israel.

1957 –An album of engraving was launched by the Engraving Club, with the participation of Wellington Virgolino and Wilton de Souza.

1958 – Conquistou o 1º Prêmio do Salão Oficial do Museu do Estado de Pernambuco e participou de várias exposições coletivas.

1958 – Won 1st Prize at the Official Salon of the Pernambuco State Museum and participated in several group exhibitions.

1959 –Individual exhibitionsin Recife and São Paulo.

1960 –Released an album with ten woodcuts.

1961 –Released his 2nd album with colour prints.

1962 –Won 1st Prize for Sculpture in the Bank of Brazil’s Recife Central Agency’s Competition.

1963 – Received the Pernambuco Medal of Merit.
Created the monument forCampina Grande’s Centenary.
Created the ‘Sereia do Mirante’ (Lookout Mermaid), in Maceió, AL.
Created a panel forthe Campina Grande Forum inParaíba, and symbol of the Workers Club in the same city.

1965 –Created the Cowboy and Iracemamonuments (Fortaleza, CE), the statue of Iracema (Ipu, CE) and the gate-panel for the Santo Antôniobuilding (Recife-PE).

1966 – Participated in the 1stNational Biennial of Visual Arts.

1967 –Painted tile panels on the Pernambuco revolutions of 1817 and 1848 and made a sculpture of Saint Maurus, all for the Santo AmaroMunicipal Library, Recife.
Created the Worker’s monumentin Paulo Afonso, BA, and the decoration of the Floresta dos Navios Cathedral, PE.

1969, 1972, 1975 and 1978 – Participated in the Panorama of Brazilian Art at the Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo.
Won the Bank of Brazil’s Santo Antônio Branch sculpture competition, Recife, PE.

1970 and 1973 –Released serigraphy albums (Xangô, n. 1 and 2), and others with woodcuts through the UFPE’s University Press.
Released an album of nudes in serigraphy.

1977 – Exhibited at the Lansing Art Gallery, Michigan, USA.

1992 – Participated in the 1st Salon of Religious Art in Argentina.

2000 –Held the Colours and Volumes exhibition, presenting 15 pieces of aluminium that united rusticity with the elegance of slender and bold women.
Corbiniano is the creator of the trophy for the Cristina Tavares Journalism Award, instituted by the Pernambuco of Journalists Union.
At 87 years of age, Corbiniano continues in full swing, following his routine as an artist who uses his talent to beautify streets and buildings of various national and international cities, as well as illustrating books and participate on exhibition judging committees.


Recife, 30 may 2011.
Translated by Peter Leamy, February 2012.

sources consulted

CABRAL, Bruna. Bendito entre as mulheres. Arrecifes, Recife, ano 1, n. 7, p. 4-5, 22 maio 2011.

FONSECA, Homero. Corbiniano. Continente Multicultural, Recife, ano 6, n. 70, p. 56-60, out. 2006.

JOAQUIM, Luiz. Corbiniano desafia o equilíbrio com suas mulheres esguias e ousadas. JC online, Recife, 28 nov. 2000. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 24 maio 2011.

LEAL, Weydson Barros. Corbiniano Lins: um olhar sobre sua arte. Recife: Funcultura, 2006.

MANTUEFFEL,Hans Von. Corbiniano [photo this text]. Disponível em: LEAL, Weydson Barros. Corbiniano Lins: um olhar sobre sua arte. Recife: Funcultura, 2006.p 133.

how to quote this text

Source: BARBOSA, Virgínia. Corbiniano. Pesquisa Escolar Online, Joaquim Nabuco Foudation, Recife. Available at:  <>. Accessed: day month year. Exemple: 6 Aug. 2009