He held several positions in West Germany and from 1961-78 he was consul in Munich.
Calábria’s final posting in 1978 took him across the internal border to East Berlin, where he was Brazilian ambassador to the German Democratic Republic until his retirement in 1985. He subsequently moved to West Berlin, where he remained until his death in 2012.
Wherever his career took him, he purchased art and built up an impressive collection, with a particular focus on abstract and concrete works, which filled the walls of his official residences and later his Berlin home.
During his posting in Munich he had encountered the Brazilian artist Almir da Silva Mavignier (1925-2018), who, after training in Brazil, moved to Germany and established a studio in Ulm in the late 1950s. Calábria described him as his ‘dear mentor’ who encouraged him to organise exhibitions of young artists in his official residence, a tradition he continued in the East German capital.
Among the works he purchased from Mavignier is this untitled 2ft 11in (90cm) square oil on canvas composition from 1961, which has a guide of €50,000-70,000.