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Nicolau de Chanterene

Nicolau de Chanterene/Nicolas de Chanterenne was a French sculptor who worked in Portugal from 1517 to the probable year of his death, 1551. He first introduced the Italian-influenced Renaissance style to the country and, two decades later, Classicism. It is believed that he was born in Lorraine, France around 1470 and that he spent time in Italy before (or possibly after) working in Santiago de Compostela, where his presence in 1511 is documented. The first documented reference to "Master Nicolau" in Portugal dates from 1517, in which he is named as the designer responsible for the work on the axial portal of the Jerónimos Monastery. He worked in Coimbra on the Igreja de Santa Cruz church, at the orders of Manuel I, where he designed the tombs of Kings Afonso Henriques and Sancho I. He also produced there a magnificent pulpit and a series of four bas-reliefs on the Passion of Christ (of which today only three remain). At the Hieronymite monastery of São Marcos in Tentúgal, Chanterene sculpted the retable with a representation of the Lamenation of Christ at the centre flanked by donor figures. The bottom part of the rebable features niches depicting episodes from the life of St. Jerome. Upon his return from a stay in Zaragoza (1527-1528) he once again worked for the Hieronymite Order in 1528, building the alabaster retable for the monastery church at Pena in Sintra, which is today part of the National Pena Palace. This masterly work, dedicated to the Infante Manuel, the son of João III and Catherine of Austria, was only completed in 1534. In 1533 he left for Évora, which is home to two of his most noteworthy works: the tomb of Dom Francisco de Melo in the Lóios Monastery and the tribunes in the Igreja de São Francisco (Church of St. Francis).

Filipe Brias/Philippe de Vries

Considered by the historian Rafael Moreira to be a 16th-century sculptor of Flemish origins, new information based on Inquisition processes was recently presented by the historian Pedro Flôr that throws some light on this artist's biography. We now know that, according to statements made in the 1550s and 1560s to the Inquisition by a number of master carpenters, Philippe de Vries was indeed a French sculptor with contacts to elite members of the Portuguese court. He worked in Lisbon and Tomar. In 1558 he travelled to India with the Viceroy Constantino de Bragança. He produced the sculpture of Christ on the Cross (1551) commissioned by the Infante Luís (son of Manuel I) for the Jerónimos Monastery.

Lourenço de Salzedo

Lourenço de Salzedo was a Spanish artist, born around 1535, who worked in Seville, where he was a disciple of Luis de Vargas (who himself was a follower of Pierino del Vaga in Rome). He was very much influenced by the bella maniera of Michelangelo, Pierino, Jacopino del Conte and Francesco Salviati, amongst others. Brought to Lisbon by Catherine of Austria around 1564, Salzedo took residence in noble houses in the Santos-o-Velho district. There are records of him living there in 1570. He settled down there, fathering four children with Ana de Salazar, one of which was born in 1578 after the artist's premature death. In addition to having won the commission for the retable on the High Altar in Jerónimos Monastery over important figures such as the Portuguese artist Campelo and the Flemish Franz Floriz and Francesco de Urbino from Genoa, Salzedo also produced retables for the Hieronymite monastery at Vale Benfeito, the parish church in Loures and Évora Cathedral (of which only some pieces remain, which have been identified on the basis of their style), as well as the now lost murals in Todos-os-Santos Hospital. He also painted portraits of Catherine and João III with their respective patron saints .

Source: Victor Serrão, Capela-Mor do Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Restauro, IPPAR, Lisboa 1999

Simão Rodrigues

Simão Rodrigues (ca. 1560-1629) was a genuine representative of the reformed Counter-Mannerist style who produced a vast body of work. Born in the town of Alcácer do Sal around 1560, he set up a studio in Rua dos Vinagreiros in Lisbon in 1583. Around 1595 he was commissioned by the Figueiredo Pimento family to paint the high altar retable in the church of the São Domingos Monastery in Elvas. Around the same time he also painted the Tree of Jesse in the Parish Church at Azambuja and worked with Fernão Gomes on the retable of the high altar in Portalegre Cathedral. In 1597 he painted the high altar retable in the Colégio do Carmo in Coimbra. It is considered one of the best retables in the Portuguese Mannerist style. Later, working with Domingos Vieira Serrão, he produced a number of works in the city of Coimbra: for the sacristy of the Sé Velha (Old Cathedral), the church in the Santa Cruz monastery and the University of Coimbra Chapel. Between 1600 and 1610 he painted the series of paintings on the life of St. Jerome for the sacristy in Jerónimos Monastery. In October 1602 he was one of the nine founders of the Irmandade de São Lucas, a confraternity of painters in Lisbon of which he was the first chairman, reflecting the recognition he enjoyed. He was also accepted into the fraternity of the Santa Casa de Misericórdia of Lisbon.

Source: Paulo Pereira (Dir.) - História da Arte Portuguesa, Lisboa, Circulo de Leitores, Volume II

Avelar Rebelo

José de Avelar Rebelo was born in Lisbon around 1600-1610 and first worked in the circles of Duke João II at the Ducal Palace in Vila Viçosa. There he painted the fresco paintings on the ceilings of the Cântico dos Cânticos room and the Delícias of Música. Avelar Rebelo also enjoyed ducal patronage in undertaking a journey to and stay in Madrid. He executed works in the palace at the time of the Duke's marriage to Luísa de Gusmão in 1633. From 1637 onwards the painter's presence in Lisbon is regularly documented, living with this wife Joana de Andrade in Rua dos Almocreves (in Anjos) and in Cruz de Pedra (São Domingos de Benfica). An ardent supporter of the restoration of the Portuguese monarchy, he had his definitive breakthrough with the triumphant revolution of 1st December 1640. He was appointed painter to the court of João IV and painting master to Prince Teodósio (1635-1653). As the preferred artist of the kingdom's elite, from noble confraternities to court circles, in 1644 he was elected chairman of the Irmandade de São Lucas (a confraternity of Lisbon painters) and was honoured with the Habit of the Order of Aviz. Between 1640 and 1645 he painted St Jerome, Doctor (oil on canvas) for the Library in the Jerónimos Monastery. Today it hangs in the Refectory.

Source: Paulo Pereira (Dir.) - História da Arte Portuguesa, Lisboa, Circulo de Leitores, Volume II

Costa Mota

António Augusto da Costa Mota (1862-1930), who was usually known as Costa Mota (Uncle) in order to distinguish him from his nephew of the same name, who was also a sculptor, was an artist of considerable renown in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; his oeuvre consists mainly of monuments, statues and busts. Born in Coimbra in 1862, to took up the study of drawing and culture at the Associação dos Artistas (Association of Artists) in that city, later transferring to the Escola Livre das Arts do Desenho (Free School of Drawing Arts), where he studied under António Augusto Gonçalves. He went to study at the Lisbon College of Fine Arts, where he befriended Vitor Bastos and Simões Almeida, becoming the latter's disciple. After graduating in 1891 he showed at the Grémio Artístico salons gaining recognition from the critics and praise from the public. A recipient of many awards and prizes during his life, he had a brilliant artistic career. He showed regularly at the National Society of Fine Arts, and the quality he revealed in his work earned him the title of grand master of Portuguese statue-making. He lived essentially from public commissions through competitions he regularly won and was one of first sculptors who could live exclusively from their art. One should highlight that fact that his compositional choices reflected not only his way of thinking but also the course of 19th century sculpture. In 1894 he produced the tombs of Vasco da Gama and Luís Vaz de Camões in the Jerónimos Monastery. He died on 26 March 1930.

Abel Manta

Abel Manta was born in Gouveia on 12th October 1888. Between 1904 and 1916 he studied at the College of Fine Arts; he completed his course in painting there, graduating with a third prize from the National Society of Fine Arts. He moved to Paris in 1919, showing his work the Salon de la Societé Nationale and other galleries, and there also attended a course in engraving at the maison Schlumberger. Later he travelled Europe. In 1926 he returned to Portugal and began teaching drawing at the António Arroio School of Decorative Arts. He married the painter Clementina Carneiro de Moura in 1927. That marriage produced one child: the architect, painter, designer and cartoonist, João Abel Manta. In 1935 Abel Manta took part in the first Modern Art Salon in Lisbon. He was also represented at the most important group shows in the country, including the Fine Arts Exhibition I and II at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, where he was awarded the prize for painting. From 1958 onwards, following his retirement from teaching, he devoted himself entirely to painting and drawing. In 1979 he was awarded the Order of St. James and the Spade by the then President of Portugal, António Ramalho Eanes. Abel Manta dies on 9th August 1982; the Abel Manta Municipal Museum of Modern Art was opened in Gouveia in 1985.

He designed the stained glass windows on the south façade of the Jerónimos Monastery (1938).