Portugal Arts

Portugal Arts

Europe

Some Christian churches remain from the period of the Visigothic domination in which Byzantine elements are mixed with others of Germanic derivation (San Frutuoso in Braga, VII century). Arab constructions are scarcer (some fortifications, Mozarabic church of Lamosa, 10th century) due to the destruction caused by the wars of Reconquest. In the sec. XII, with the extension of the Christian kingdom, the Romanesque style spread in Portugal, of evident French derivation. If the first constructions are still very simple, with the cathedrals of Lisbon, Porto, Coimbra and Braga an architecture of considerable monumental level begins. Military architecture is also very widespread (the same religious buildings were often fortified). Romanesque sculpture, substantially linked to architecture with a decorative function, blends Byzantine elements with others of Visigothic derivation. According to clothesbliss, the Gothic was imported to Portugal at the end of the century. XIII by various religious orders supported by the sovereigns: the convents are the first notable constructions in the new style, which found local variations especially in the cloisters. The most important monument of the first Gothic phase is the Cistercian abbeyof Alcobaça(1308-11) of Burgundian derivation. A more mature Gothic style developed over the course of the century. XIV, finding its maximum expression in the monastery of Santa Maria della Vittoria in Batalha, begun in 1388 by the will of King John I on a project by A. Domingues and continued in the following century. Several of the major Portuguese artists worked there, such as D. Boytac and João de Castilho, author of the beautiful portal of the C apelas imperfeitas, in which the first statements of the Manueline style are found. This, which lasted until the century. XVI advanced, it was characterized at first as a flamboyant Gothic, then undergoing Renaissance influences and plateresque. The Manueline reached very high levels in the monastery of the Jerónimos of Belém in Lisbon, in that of the Cristo in Tomar, in the royal palace of Sintra and in the famous Tower of Belém. In the sec. XVI was established in Portugal in a classical style of Renaissance inspiration which for a certain period coincided with and was contaminated with the Manueline style. Important for the spread of the Italian Renaissance was the Portuguese stay of A. Sansovino at the end of the century. XV. The sculpture of the Gothic period was still essentially linked to architecture, however notable testimonies are the funerary ones (tombs of Peter I and Inés de Castro in the church of Alcobaça). The most active center was Coimbra, thanks to the activity of Diogo Pires the Elder and the Younger, exponents of the Manueline school, of the French Nicolas Chantereine and of Ph. Houdart. There are also numerous works of wooden sculpture. There is no news of Portuguese painting before the end of the century. XV, when the personalities of V. Fernandes, a notable portrait painter, and Nuño Gonçalves established themselves in the centers of Lisbon, Évora and Beira. With the sec. XVII architectural activity in Portugal experienced a certain decline and the Baroque style was above all an imitation and reworking of foreign models, especially Italian ones. In the field of sculpture, in the seventeenth century there were many religious works, in wood or wood and clay (high altar in the church of the Alcobaça monastery), often of popular taste. The greatest painter was the portraitist D. Vieira. It is also worth mentioning the extraordinary flowering of craftsmanship and the so-called minor arts, from fabric processing to goldsmithing (the discovery of gold in Brazil called numerous European goldsmiths to Lisbon). The art of majolica deserves a separate discussionPortuguese, born around the century. XVI with a production of tiles to decorate churches and palaces. In the sec. A decorative taste in blue and manganese was established in the seventeenth century, distinctly oriental in the colors but Spanish in the themes: female busts, heraldic animals, etc., surrounded by symbolic figurations similar to the ornaments of the Chinese Mingporcelain (from the beginning of the sixteenth century Portugal was one of the largest European importers of China’s porcelain). In the sec. XVIII urban planning activity was very intense (especially following the Lisbon earthquake, 1755) due to the work of King John V and the Marquis of Pombal, whose architects were E. dos Santos and Carvalho. Interesting examples of Rococo they are the convent of Mafra and the palace of Quelúz. In the eighteenth century some architectural complexes built abroad and subsequently mounted in Portugal were also imported, such as the chapel of St. John the Baptist in the church of San Rocco in Lisbon, carried out in Rome by N. Salvi and L. Vanvitelli. In the eighteenth century the sculpture remained at a modest level. The painting was characterized by Italian influences in the great decorations and in the religious altarpieces; from French influences in genre painting and portrait. Towards the end of the century the major personalities of F. Vieira and DA de Sequeira emerged, famous for paintings of historical subjects. Folk art also continued lively with the production of terracotta nativity scenes (Machado de Castro), carriages (of which there is a rich collection in the Royal Carriage Museum in Lisbon), devotional images to decorate churches; majolica was influenced in this period by the Piedmontese taste. In the sec. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the decline and cultural isolation of Portugal negatively influenced the artistic manifestations, which remained at a mediocre level. eclecticism and revivalist fashions, there has been an attempt to align with modern European experiences and adapt to new national needs. Among the various exponents of this artistic field for the Lusitanian country we can remember the figure of Alvaro Siza Vieria (b. 1933), architect and designer of international fame.

Portugal Arts

Finally, the Expo Urbe district is interesting, which rises along the banks of the Tagus in Lisbon, built on the occasion of the universal exhibition held in 1998 and designed with a view to perfect urban integration with the rest of the city. In the ultra- modern district, an example of architectural efficiency and rationality, is the Pavilhao dos Oceanos, the largest aquarium in Europe. In sculpture, the most important exponent in the second half of the nineteenth century was Soares dos Reis, while the most advanced currents throughout the twentieth century were collected sporadically and without great originality. In the field of painting, towards the end of the nineteenth century a group of artists inspired by impressionism established themselves, such as J. de Sousa Pinto, J. Veloso Salgado and C. Reis. However, the greatest openness to international research took place in the twentieth century with the work of A. de Sousa Cardoso, E. Viana, D. Gomes. Among the avant-garde artists, also open to informal experiences, H. Vieira Da Silva should be mentioned, J. Resende, S. Areal and Lanzner. Finally, the achievements in the traditional field of applied arts are interesting, which a renewing current has opened up to more modern experiences. In the last decade, Unesco has recognized four Portuguese sites as World Heritage Sites: the border garrison town of Elvas and its fortifications (2012); the Universities of Coimbra (2013); the Royal Building of Marfa (2019); the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus di Monte in Braga (2019).