19.7 x 28.5 cm (7 ¾ x 11 ¼ inches) watercolor on paper signed lower right Manzke, matted and framed under glass to an overall size of 32.8 x 40.3 cm (12 7/8 x 15 7/8 inches). The matting seems to be original, and was not professionally done.
Reinaldo Manzke (Brazil, 1906-1980) had a special talent to evoke, in intense color schemes, scenes where Man and Nature are one and the same subject. His scenes are also landscapes, and the distance he chose is just right so the viewer is outside the scene, looking in. An invitation to share the land.
Here, a gaúcho (the Brazilian equivalent of a cowboy) is gathering his herd for the night in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. There is a moment of quiet intensity as the sky is ablaze and the campfire mixes its smoke with the windless sky. The gaucho is part of the herd and the viewer is as if part of the pampas: we could be lying down on the grass.
Manzke got inspiration from his travels in various regions of Brazil. He was a well-respected artist who, in addition to legitimate exhibitions, sold well to tourists - which is why his work can be found in US estate sales, and here at American Art.