Cais do Oriente
Telephone (21) 2203 1235
The logical place to start a trip to the newly opened MAR is on the fourth floor, taking in a chronology of the city from its discovery right through to modernity. Immaculately preserved maps from the early 1700s blend into watercolours of Guanabara Bay and the surrounding hills whose icons remain unmistakable centuries later. Architectural drawings of man-made icons like the Biblioteca Nacional and Escola Nacional das Belas Artes are also worthy historical documents, along with posters and flyers hawking the early days of the Theatro Municipal and its first stars.
Charcoal works by Tarsila do Amaral and exquisite oil paintings of the bay by Bruno Lechowski are highlights, but with over 400 pieces charting the city's development over as many years, this is a quick-fire trip through the ages. Di Cavalcanti, Iberê Camargo and Burle Marx are all present and correct, closing with some stunning favela photography and a classic image from Marcos Chaves to bring the journey to an unmistakably 21st Century finale.