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Church Sketches

A work made of black marker on tracing paper.

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  • A work made of black marker on tracing paper.




Oscar Niemeyer
Brazilian, 1907-2012

About this artwork

Despite his position as an atheist, Oscar Niemeyer designed several religious buildings over the course of his career. Three designs of religious buildings depicted here introduced non-traditional and innovative solutions. The un-built mosque in Algiers was designed to rest over the sea with bridge to connect to the shore; the Cathedral for Brasilia took the form of a stylized crown of thorns; and the parabolic structure that formed the church of St. Francis Assisi in Minas Gerais received much criticism for its similarity to a bomb shelter—while construction completed in 1942 it was not until 1959 that the church was consecrated.


Currently Off View


Architecture and Design


Oscar Niemeyer (Architect)


Church Sketches


Brazil (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Black marker on tracing paper


50 × 70 cm (19 11/16 × 27 9/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Oscar Niemeyer, Fundaçao Oscar Niemeyer

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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