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Portugal Painting

Portugal Painting

Painting. – Developed in Romanesque and Gothic churches, Portuguese medieval painting, as we can see from the few vestiges that have come down to us, was based on Tuscan models or those of southern Spain, interpreting them with naive coarseness. Some surviving frescoes (S. Francesco a Porto, Tribunal of Monsaraz) reveal a presence of Italian artists who testify, in the international Gothic phase, of cultural exchanges between Portugal and Italy. The activity of Antonio Fiorentino in Portugal and A. Pires d’Evora in Tuscany offers an example of artistic circulation which, during the 15th century, will polarize towards other art centers in accordance with the new economic and political relations. which then were being established. The coming in Portugal, in 1428, by J. Van Eyck, commissioned to paint the portrait of the fiancée of Duke Philip of Burgundy, he inaugurates a new cultural phase. Starting from this marriage, in fact, with the development of commercial relations with Flanders, there were considerable imports of Flemish paintings, and while Flemish painters came to work in Portugal, Portuguese painters went to study in the workshops of the Bruges masters.

Likewise, in the field of miniature, after the Romanesque works of the 12th century (Commentary on the Apocalypse and Book of the Birds of the Benedictine abbey of Lorvão), the Italianizing taste, which had imprinted on some works (Bible of the Geronymites, commissioned to the Attavanti workshop), competed with the Flemish influence during an archaic 16th century. This can be found in the famous polyptych called “of St. Vincent outside the walls), attributed to N. Gonçalves, court painter of Alfonso V. It is a set of six panels, as many as have come down to us, made in the third fourth of the 15th century, in which Flemish influences are integrated into a personalized cultural context that also admits a certain Hispanic formation and which, in a moment of modern, however empirical, definition of nationality, becomes aware of the humanistic vision of the Renaissance. There is still discussion about the meaning and social role that this work played, or should have played, in its time: a single document, both on the iconographic and on the artistic level, the polyptych, whose original composition is ignored, captures the very essence of the society in which it was produced, in a vast panoramic vision, both realistic and symbolic. With these panels, in which certain archaic aspects of the composition are offset by a vigorous originality, Portuguese art produced one of the great works of Western painting of that time. If in the previous pictorial tradition – at least in the one known to us – nothing let us foresee such a creation, not even it produced, after itself, any consequence. An isolated work, of which memory was lost and which was rediscovered by chance only at the end of the 19th century, it could not become a point of reference for later Portuguese painting. For Portugal 1997, please check aristmarketing.com.

It is believed that F. Henriques and Fra Carlos are two Flemish painters who settled in Portugal in the 15th century: they would have been the main means of the influence of the Nordic schools. Alongside the current that derived from them, another is identified, headed by the Lisbon workshop of J. Afonso, whose catalog has not yet been defined. Some provincial currents should also be considered, including the one that was founded around V. Fernandes, known as “Grão Vasco”, active in Viseu, who was once considered as the “father of Portuguese primitive painting”. The Master of Sardoal, a village in the center of the country, represents a school whose works also show certain qualities of plastic vigor, according to a somewhat national taste. F. Henriques was J. Afonso’s brother-in-law: the family structure of the latter’s workshop can enlighten us on the relationships between the main artists of the next generation. G. Lopes, G. Fernandes and C. de Figueiredo were acquired siblings or grandchildren of the head school: it is through their works that a “Luso-Flemish” line develops with different accents and with varying degrees of national originality, within iconographic codes defined by the corporations. With C. Lopes, son of G. and grandson of V. Afonso, the 16th century will come to free itself from all archaism. with different accents and with varying degrees of national originality, within iconographic codes defined by the corporations. With C. Lopes, son of G. and grandson of V. Afonso, the 16th century will come to free itself from all archaism. with different accents and with varying degrees of national originality, within iconographic codes defined by the corporations. With C. Lopes, son of G. and grandson of V. Afonso, the 16th century will come to free itself from all archaism.

The mannerism that later imposed itself in Portuguese painting (D. Teixeira, S. Rodrigues) does not go beyond the morphological level and, once again, is a tributary of Flemish painting, despite the Italianizing theories of F. de Holanda, who had frequented the entourage by Michelangelo. However, the value of the portraits of King Sebastian, the mannerist ruler par excellence, painted by C. de Morais, should be emphasized. It will be precisely the portrait that will keep Portuguese painting of the 17th century at dignified levels, particularly with the work of D. Vieira, characterized by Spanish influences. For the rest, this century has produced, in addition to the still lifes with the naive grace of J. D’Obidos, a mediocre religious painting whose ideological discourse was not disturbed by the Counter-Reformation, since it already accorded by tradition to an Orthodox society.

In the sumptuous court of John V, painting never played an important role, overshadowed as it was by the Baroque decoration with azulejos panels and the talha (wood carving) gilded of the altars. Vieira Lusitano, trained in Rome, “academicus romanus”, was the only artist of value with A. Goncalves and Portugal Alexandrino, while PA Quillard, trained in the circle of Watteau, could not highlight his brilliant gifts for a short moment, destined, as it was, to die very young in Lisbon. John V therefore preferred to have French and Flemish engravers come to his court, to import the paintings for his palace-convent in Mafra from Rome, or to buy in Paris, through the Mariettes, those for his collections, which the earthquake of 1755 would have later destroyed, as destroyed the ceilings painted with the technique of trompe – l’oeil from the Tuscan V. Baccarelli (who introduced the genre in Portugal at the beginning of the 18th century) as well as the Opera Theater and the paintings, which constituted its decoration, by GC Bibiena.

Portuguese painting