24 ALVARO ALVIM STREET
HEYDENREICH BUILDING, DESIGNED IN 1926 C.
UNKNOWN AUTHOR | MORTAR BAS-RELIEF | 1926
As the Patron of Merchants, the roman god Mercury – Hermes, for the greek -, is the absolute champion of uses in Rio façades. He is everywhere, from the small commerce of the nineteenth century still standing sobrados to the majestic Tiradentes Palace, the symbol of First Brazilian Republic´s architectonic opulence.
Above is probably the most beautiful and carioca of all Mercuries. Justifying the name of this blog, the ornament lies hid on a façade located in an area whose palaces and architectural wealth most violently steal the passerby´s attention : the Floriano Square, better known as Cinelândia, home of the Municipal Theatre, the Pedro Ernesto Palace and the National Library. Mercury here is seen beside the Sugar Loaf – the main Rio´s international attraction at the time – and a gigantic ocean liner ready to dispatch legions of tourists avid to enjoy the Marvelous City (Cidade Maravilhosa). Dated and signed: ANNO 1926. JW.