b. 1894
- d. 1973
  • Brazil
Turnover 2023
Record Sale

Maria Martins’ artistic journey commenced with her early forays into sculpture in 1926. In 1939, she pursued formal sculpting studies under the tutelage of Oscar Jesper in Brussels. Her artistic evolution began with the exploration of diverse mediums, including wood, terracotta, marble, and lost wax, before transitioning to bronze.

During the 1940s, she actively participated in various exhibitions across Europe and the United States, showcasing her burgeoning talent. She made a significant contribution as a guest artist at the 1st São Paulo Biennial in 1951. Notably, at the 3rd Biennial in 1955, she clinched the prestigious prize for the best national sculptor. Her remarkable career saw the staging of numerous solo exhibitions in global art hubs like New York, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo.

In 1997, the Jean Boghici Gallery curated an exhibition featuring her sculptures in Rio de Janeiro. In a revealing interview with Clarice Lispector in 1968, the artist eloquently expressed, “One day I felt the urge to carve wood, and an object emerged that I deeply cherished. From that day onward, I dedicated myself entirely to sculpture. I began with terracotta, then moved on to marble, and eventually embraced lost wax, a medium without limitations.” Her artistic journey stands as a testament to her unwavering dedication to the craft.

Public Collections

Museum of Modern Art – MoMA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, MASP, MAM SP, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro – MAM RJ, Museu de Arte Contemporânea da USP – MAC USP, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and Museu de Arte Latino-Americana de Buenos Aires (Malba)


Private Sale

Maria Martins
Cobra Grande, 1943

42 x 52 x 30 cm

Sold by Gomide & Co Gallery – San Pablo during at Art Basel ArtBasel 2023 to Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA) – Buenos Aires
June 2023

Price: $ 2.2M USD


Auction Record

Maria Martins

55 x 25 x 29 cm

Sotheby’sNew York NY, United States
Latin American Art Modern & Contemporary
25 nov 2014
Lot # 57

Hammer price: $ 270,000
Buyer’s premium: $ 329,000
Estimate: $ 100,000 – $ 150,000




O Impossivel, 1945

182 × 175 × 91 cm

Inventory no.: 1998.03
Donation: Eduardo F. Costantini, 2001 to Museum of Latin American Art (MALBA) – Buenos Aires

Other works

182 cm x
175 cm
Latest price

$USD 270.000

55 cm x
25 cm


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