Artisan Júlio César Nunes Rosas, 63 years of age, was born in a region in Peru with over 10,000 years of history and surrounded by valleys and dunes. He grew up in Ica, a city around 300 kilometers away from the Peruvian capital, Lima, but sought in another millenary and desert land, Egypt, inspiration for his art.
Júlio César is a Peruvian artisan and has been working with sculptures and pictures based on the historic Egyptian culture in Brazil for over 40 years.
The Egyptian items, made out of stone, show gods and pharaohs of Ancient Egypt. Khafra, a pharaoh who reigned between 2520 and 2494 BC and was responsible for the construction of the second largest Egyptian pyramid, became a picture sculpted by Júlio César. Ramses II, the most famous Egyptian pharaoh, who reigned between 1290 and 1223 BC, became a statue.
The sculptor’s favorite image, however, among those of the Egyptians, is that of Akhenaten, who ordered the construction of a new administrative base, outside Thebes.
"He also instituted the belief in just one god," recalled Júlio César. Akhenaten wanted monotheism among the Egyptians and changed his name in honor of the sun as the only god, called Aten by them. Before that, Akhenaten was called Amenhotep IV.
Júlio César lives in the city of Florianópolis, capital of the southern Brazilian state of Santa Catarina, where he has a studio. He produces around 50 pictures and sculptures a month. Apart from Egyptian figures, the products also show elements of other cultures, like the Aztec, Maya, Inca and African.
His works are made from granulated stone. Júlio César actually sculpts the figures in wood. From that a cast is made, out of materials like aluminum and rubber. The stone statue is made from these moulds, through heating.
The artist trades his works through his site, at fairs in Brazil and also at his own studio. Júlio César has never participated in foreign fairs, but he said that his works have already been bought by various foreigners, even some Egyptians.
Between 1974 and 2000 he was one of the exhibitors at fair Torre da Televisão, in Brazilian capital Brasília, which receives visitors from all around Brazil.
The artist migrated from Peru to Brazil 45 years ago and made Brasília his first base, where he worked as a blacksmith. It was only after around four years that he started developing his art.
Before that, Júlio César had already worked as an artisan in Peru. He started his activities in art between the age of 10 and 12. So as to reach the sculptures he currently makes he had to do significant research in books.
"I have always loved history," he said.
The products are sold for prices ranging from 10 reais (approximately US$ 4.30) to 700 reais (around US$ 310).
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