Portugal Figurative Arts Part III

The classical reaction manifested itself with buildings that for simplicity refer to the sober Italian sixteenth century.

The church of Mafra is due to the classical reaction, with its simple composition among the rather baroque lines of the rest of the monastery; the pavilions of the royal palace of Queluz, including the one known as the Sphinxes, in Louis XVI style, recalls a corner of Versailles. Political events, the threat of the French invasion almost completely extinguished the architectural activity after the work of the Marquis of Pombal, who rebuilt Lisbon ruined by the 1755 earthquake. on the bank of the Tagus.

In the century In the 19th century, the theater of S. Carlo was built in Lisbon for lyrical representations, and by Dona Maria for prose: both follow the neoclassical style that continued to be popular in the first half of the century.

Alongside the civil buildings built in modern times, ancient civil constructions still remain in Portugal, such as the public palace of Bragança, the only surviving Romanesque style building; that of Viana do Castelo, from the end of the Gothic style; the Misericordia, in the same city, of the Flemish Renaissance, and some castles of the ancient nobility, such as the Gothic-Manueline one in Alvito and the Baroque one of the Count of Vila Real, in Mateus.

According to Behealthybytomorrow, Portuguese sculpture begins in the decoration of religious monuments, with the rough figures of the Romanesque church of Bravães, and extends to the vast iconographic complexes of the Manueline era. In the round, it is found first in the tombs, such as those of the Count of Barcelos in Taouca, of Don Rodrigo Sanches in Grijó and of two bishops in the Cathedral of Coimbra, all of the century. XIII. There are also rough statues of the Madonna in Romanesque forms. But it was the funerary sculpture that gave the most beautiful works of the Gothic period, with the sarcophagi of Queen S. Elisabetta in S. Chiara of Coimbra, of the bishop Goncalo Pereira in the cathedral of Braga, of Lopo Pacheco in the cathedral of Lisbon, and above all with the two sumptuous tombs of D. Pedro I and D. Ignez de Castro in the abbey church of Alcobaça, the two lovers who in art, in literature and especially in the folk tradition of Portugal they have remained as the symbol of unhappy passion. The Apostles of the portal of the cathedral of Évora and a series of statues of saints on the altars and in the niches: figures notable for their realism and sentiment. In the sixteenth century, through the French sculptors called by King Emanuele, the monuments are adorned with still Gothic sculptures but with realistic tendencies. Jean de Rouen, Nicolas Chanterène and the Oudart dominate the sculptures of the Coimbra school, where they worked around the tombs of the first Portuguese kings in Santa Croce and the admirable pulpit of the same church, rich in figures within very rich Renaissance-style decoration, chiseled and pierced like a gold monstrance. In the same church is a Supper of the Oudart, in terracotta. In Cintra, in the chapel of the Royal Palace, there is an alabaster frontal, by Nicolas Chanterène, also author of the frontal of the main altar of the church of S. Marcos, near Coimbra, and of an Annunziata in the museum of Coimbra.

While the Gothic art lingered until the second half of the century. XVI, Italian sculpture appeared in Portuguese monuments; but it was an ephemeral apparition, as in the Apostles of the apsidiole on the right in the old cathedral of Coimbra. The noble and simple Renaissance soon took over the Baroque, its exaltation of soul and movement. It, in the century. XVIII, faded into a typically Portuguese sculptural practice: terracotta cribs. One of the most notable modellers of this minor sculpture (crib in the Estrella church in Lisbon) was an artist who also gave essays in the major sculpture, because he is the author of the groups in the monument of King José I in the Commerce Square in Lisbon: Machado de Castro; to which are added Antonio Ferreira, author of the crib in the cathedral of Lisbon, and Barros Laborão, as well as the many artisans who worked cribs in the humble shops of Lisbon and other cities. With the political events of the end of the century. XVIII the activity of Portuguese sculptors declined. Near the end of the century. XIX there are two names of personal and strong artists: Soares dos Reis, author of Desterrado (The Exile), executed in Rome during the sculptor’s stay as a state pensioner, and of the bust í emminile called L’ Inglish ; Teixeira Lopes, still alive, who carved among other things the Widow and the statue of History for the tomb of a writer.

Certain news of painting in Portugal is not had before the century. XV. The painter Alvaro Pires, of Évora, worked only in Italy; Giovanni van Eyck was in Portugal in 1428: and this attests the close relationship with Flemish painting. Towards the middle of the century XV meets the name of Nuno Gonçalves, and under the reign of kings Emmanuel and John III there is a group of painters (Gregorio Lopes, Christovão Lopes, Vasco Fernandes, Jorge Afonso, Christovão de Figueiredo, Garcia Fernandes) whose works they are a sumptuous reflection of the time when Portugal reached the apogee of maritime discoveries.

The goldsmith’s art, with the engraver poet Gil Vicente, author of the Belem monstrance, demonstrates the height to which this art reached in Portugal. Even the ceramics of the 17th and 18th centuries had genuine originality, especially in the azulejos panels that cover the walls of churches, convents and palaces like large ceramic tapestries.

Portugal Figurative Arts 3