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Candido Portinari, The Neo-Realist Painter: 5 Cruzado Novo (Brazil, 1989)-Article Variant

Updated: Mar 21, 2022

This Brazilian banknote represent the 2nd denomination of the Cruzado Novo (Series 1989). The Cruzado Novo was a short-lived currency, which circulated from 15 January 1989 and 15 March 1990. It replaced the previous Cruzado, at a rate of 1,000 Cruzados to 1 Cruzado Novo. As the earlier Cruzado underwent rapid inflation, during its short 1986-1989 circulation.

Notably the last 3 denominations of the Cruzado served, as overprinted provisional Cruzado Novo notes. Such as this particular denomination, based on the 5,000 Cruzado (1988). The overprinted stamp revalues the note to 5 Cruzado Novo. Although it should noted due to raising inflation (of the Cruzado Novo) a non-stamped variant was never issued.

In 1990, the Cruzado Novo was replaced at par (1:1) by the Third Cruzeiro.


The observe features a portrait Brazilian neo-realist painter Candido Portinari (1903-1962). Portinari is considered amongst Brazil's most influential painter. He completed over 5,000 pieces in his lifetime, including "Guerra e Paz" (War and Peace). Which was donated to the United Nations headquarters. To the left is the final panel from "Tiradentes", one of his epic paintings.

The note's header is off-set to the upper-left. It reads, the (trans.) "Central Bank of Brazil". Notably a faint security thread aligns with the letter "O" (DO). Below the header is one of the note's dual-serial numbers (A 3687077599 A). The second number can be seen at the lower-right. Besides this number is a jar with various paintbrushes. A small vertical number "5 000" appears on the jar.

At the lower-left is a large number "5 000". Its (trans.) "Five Thousand Cruzado" text value is listed to the left, on the note's underprint. A second number "5 000" can be seen at the upper-right. Below is a pair of signatures, representing the Minister of Finance (top) and Central Bank President (bottom).

Beneath the signatures is a "bird's head" registration element. Backlighting the note with bright light, will complete the light puzzle effect. Doing so will also expose a mirrored "Candido Portinari" watermark. Opposite of the "bird's head" registration element.

The center stamp converts the note to 5 Cruzado Novo.


The reverse depicts Portinari drawing the Baianas panel. This image is based on photo modified to resemble Portinari's art style. To the right is a second section inspired by the "Paz" panel, from "Guerra e Paz". The "Paz" panel was inspired by Portinari's childhood in Brodósqui. To the far left second half of the beforementioned "bird's head" registration element.

Similar to the observe, the reverse has number "5 000"s at its upper-right and lower-left corners. Although the lower text now features a different backing. It extend from the lower center, to the watermark area, at the right. The beforementioned security thread also aligns, between Portinari and the lower text.

Additionally UV sensitive fibers can be seen on the note's unprinted sections.

Cruzado Novo Overprint Gallery

(Gallery features all provisional Cruzado Novo banknotes.)


Additional Notes

  • This note's dimensions are 154 x 74 mm or 6.06 x 2.91 in, larger than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are large sized protective sleeves.

  • The Cruzado ISO code was BRN, it used NCz$ as its official symbol.

  • The Cruzado was subdivided into 100 Centavos, circulated coins were in Centavos.

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