Didem Doğan

The Baroque architecture in Our Preto and the master Aleijadinho

Antônio Francisco Lisboa, or shortly Aleijadinho, was born in Ouro Preto and lived there all his life. He was a sculptor, architect, and a wooden carver, a master of all these arts. The city of Our Preto, the colonial gem in the state of Minas Gerais, a Unesco world heritage city, hosts many of his works. One of his most famous work is the Church of São Francisco de Assis (though attributed to him, there’s no official document proving that it was made by him, he had somewhat mysterious life). 

He used the baroque and rococo styles- rococo is late baroque actually. The Baroque style in architecture appeared as a reaction to the Classical Renaissance style that focused on proportions, perfections and it is a cry of rather exaggerated motifs that want to exceed its own limits and boundaries. The baroque of the state of Minas has its own colours and style, it is the European Baroque with a touch of tropical sunshine! Indeed, there’s a term used in art terminology which is called the Baroque of the Minas, defining the style used in these lands from the beginning of the 18th century until the end of the 19th century… 

This little town with steep cobble stone roads is quite picturesque and various examples of Baroque architecture make it even more beautiful. The churches are always built on a hill (to emphasise the sacrifice made for truth?). Another beautiful Church is Igreja de Nossa Senhora de Carmo, with its blue door and the front work just above it made of stone carving (attributed to Aleijadinho as well). The mystery of the artist is due to an illness he got early in his life that made him escape from the people and work more during the nights.

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