#36 Near Jundicuara, an estate in the district of Ubatuba, between Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
Latin translation by Ben Hennelly
The nature of this region is similar to that of etching #35. The first elements appear of the greater cultivation, so to speak, through which the settler shapes the primeval forest near to him and accommodates it to his life, using it in the same manner as a domestic courtyard. In the river that flows out from the forests' shadows, the gentle and clear water provides the clothes-washer with her desired opportunity. As many times as I consider the picture in this etching, the very pleasing thought returns to me that there, in a more fortunate region, the simple cottage alone is not home, but rather humankind pursues freedom from care farther, into the shaded intimacy of the forest.
To the left in front a great Philodendron with pinnately cleft leaves stands next to the water. The large tree in the middle of the picture, draped with many pseudo-parasites and wrapped around by immense vines, was called Santa Lucia, its native name, by our friend Benjamin Mary, the illustrator; I think therefore that it is the noteworthy Euphorbiacea that the celebrated Freyre Allemao (1)described and depicted under its vernacular name, Santa Lucia, as if it were a new genus and species of Ophthalmoblaptus macrophyllus. The name fits, and so do those things related to me about the tree by my dear friend Freyre Allemao, the most accomplished professor of botany among the Sebastianopolitans, who illustrates with remarkable zeal those trees of his fatherland that necessarily elude the hurrying traveler.
The tree, he says, occurs in the province of Rio de Janeiro, throughout the moderately warm mountain declivities in moist, clayey ground. Its appearance is not particularly remarkable. It has greenish leaves often a foot long, which last through the course of the year, but the crown is always more or less withered or bare. Wood-cutters stay away from it because of the stinging poison of its milky sap, which causes swellings and blistering eruptions on the skin, and vehemently inflames the eyes merely with its fumes. For this reason the people gave it the name of the saint they revere as the patroness of eyes. Next to it on the right rises another tall tree, which Benjamin Mary called Tapin-hoam. This is the Laurinea, which the same Freyre Allemao described in the work "Plantas novas do Brazil" under the name Silvia navalium (2). Numerous garlands of Cucurbitaceae, Passifloreae, and Bromeliaceae climb among the branches of the trees, which scattered crowds of pseudo-parasites occupy at the same time.
Etching commentary #36