Minas and Rio Railway, Brazil: Atlantic Forest


The Thereza Christina Maria collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II (1825-91) throughout his life and donated by him to the National Library of Brazil. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America. The Atlantic Forest, or Mata Atlantica, extends along Brazil’s Atlantic coast from the Rio Grande do Sul to Minas Gerais. Isolated from other tropical forests, the area boasts remarkable biodiversity, even though less than ten percent of the original forest still exists. The forest was photographed in the late 19th century by Marc Ferrez (1843-1923), a Brazilian artist of French heritage who documented the development of Brazil as a nation. In the late 1870s, Ferrez worked with the Brazilian Geological Commission and traveled the country photographing landscapes. These photographs later were exhibited in the United States and Europe.

Last updated: May 24, 2017