Portugal Medieval Arts Part IV

In their architecture there are formulas directly inspired by the great pilgrimage churches (naves of the Sé Velha in Coimbra), influences coming from Normandy (Sé in Lisbon and lantern of the Sé in Coimbra), from Limousin (first phase of the cathedral of Porto, which was the only one to have an ambulatory, now missing). The architectural sculpture in the first buildings of the Portuguese Romanesque was minimal, being reduced to capitals decorated with plant motifs and shutters and clogs with geometric motifs, elements found in the cloister of São João de Almedina in Coimbra, in the chapel of São Geraldo in the cathedral of Braga and in the northern portal of São Pedro a Rates. This kind of works of local tradition reached its highest expression in the western portal of São Martinho in Manhente (Minho), signed by Gundisalvus in 1117. One of the first examples of Portuguese figurative art are the modillions of the primitive building of Águas Santas (Porto), perhaps prior to 1100, reused in the church of the same locality. Around the middle of the century. 12 ° a plastic current of Galician influence developed that affected a large part of the Portuguese territory, in which the capitals of the presbytery of São Cristóvão in Rio Mau (Douro Litoral) emerge, begun in 1151, which from the typological and thematic point of view retain affinity with models of some churches of the diocese of Tuy, which included the Portuguese lands located between the Minho and the Lima until the 14th century. The first Portuguese column-statues appear in São Salvador in Bravães, in São Pedro in Rubiães and in the chapel of São João in Távora (Minho) (Perez Homem de Almeida, 1984; 1987). Another current of zoomorphic sculpture of Benedictine origin spread from Travanca to the diocese of Braga, with a repertoire of the art of Languedoc, Provence, Saintonge and even Yorkshire.

According to Insidewatch, this current, which Mattoso (1954) defined as the ‘Portuguese Benedictine school’, also influenced shops outside the Order, such as those of the cathedral of Braga, or of the churches of Rio Mau (in the second phase) and of São Romão ad Arões (Minho; Graf, Mattoso, Real, 1987). Its apogee took place in the second half of the century. 12th, in São Salvador de Anciães, Bravães, Pombeiro, Rates, Travanca and Vilar de Frades in Coimbra, during the second half of the century. 12th, a more decorative than symbolic sculpture was developed in the Santa Cruz workshop. This ornamental current started from the Sé Velha, mainly from the works created during the bishopric of Miguel Salomão (1162-1176), forming the artists who subsequently worked in the churches of São Salvador, São Cristóvão, São Bartolomeu and São Tiago. This sculpture is characterized by the abandonment of Arab models, although he uses a decorative bestiary very similar to that of oriental art, whose models could be traced in the miniatures of the scriptorium of Santa Cruz and of the Lorvão convent near Rebordosa (Beira Litoral; Real, 1974). The tympanum of the Agnus Dei of the north portal of S. Martinho de Cedofeita in Porto, as well as the relief with the same subject preserved in Coimbra (Mus. Nac. De Machado de Castro) are related to the art of the Pórtico de la Glory of the Spanish cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, perhaps because the archbishopric of Compostela owned some properties in Coimbra, such as the collegiate church of São Tiago (Graf, Mattoso, Real, 1987). In the Douro Litoral, between the Ave and Tâmega rivers, a new artistic current developed called da Monteiro (1943) nationalized Romanesque, documented in the churches of São Pedro in Ferreira – a building where artists from Zamora, the Sé Velha of Coimbra and the Braga region worked -, Paço de Sousa, São Pedro a Roriz, São Vicente a Sousa, Pombeiro. In it the Visigoth or Mozarab ornamental models reappear, combined with a certain taste for figurative sculpture from Galician art and the Minho region and from the ornamentation with floral themes typical of Coimbra and Braga. 12 ° is represented by numerous castles conceived for a ‘passive defense’, whose main innovation was the presence of the keep (torre de Homenaje), usually with a square plan, inside the courtyard, protected by walls with leaning towers. Associated with the military orders, the castles of Tomar (v.), Almourol (Ribatejo), Pombal (Beira Litoral), Trancoso (Beira Alta), Lanhoso and Guimarães (Barroca, 1990-1991).

In Bragança (Trás-os-Montes) the domus municipalis is preserved, whose hall-portico with an irregular pentagonal plan served as a meeting place for the municipal council. In Portugal there are few remains of Romanesque funerary art. The tomb and cenotaph of Egas Moniz (d. 1144), tutor of King Alfonso Henriques, preserved in the monastery of Paço de Sousa should be mentioned. The first, together with an epigraph, is the work of the mid-12th century, while the second already belongs to the mid-13th century. It would be the first of the cenotaphs made in the Entre-Minho-e-Douro region and in it appear sculpted the deeds of Egas Moniz on his trip to Toledo (Mattoso, 1985; Barroca, 1987; Graf, Mattoso, Real, 1987). Among the few illuminated manuscripts that are preserved there are two noteworthy codices from the scriptorium of the Lorvão monastery (de Egry, 1972): the Commentaries on the Apocalypse by Beatus of Liébana, dated 1189 (Lisbon, Arq. Nac. Torre do Tombo, Armario dos Tratados, 160), by the scribe Egas, and the Livro das Aves, from 1183 (Lisbon, Arq. Nac. Torre do Tombo, Armario dos Tratados). 12th the evolution towards the Gothic began, as can be seen in the sculptures of the cloister of the Celas monastery near Coimbra, in the cathedral of Évora (v.) And in the church of São João de Alporão in Santarém. Gothic art developed in the center and south of the country, with the progress of the Reconquista and with the appearance of the mendicant orders. Religious Gothic architecture is to be considered monastic, having originated in abbeys such as that of Santa Maria in Alcobaça, while the originally Romanesque cathedrals, with the passage of time introduced the ‘new style’ (Tavares Chicó, 1981⁴).

Portugal Medieval Arts 4