Expansion and Arts, Brazil, II
The church of the Third Order of St Francis has the most surprising façade in Salvador.
It is a two-story structure crowned by an elaborate, fancy scroll pediment. The two entablatures are supported by anthropomorphic Ionic pilasters taken from Wendel Ditterlin´s Architectura of 1568 and by heavy quartelões (console pilasters used by cabinetmakers) with the statues of four human figures.
The façade is related to the Flemish mannerist tradition and particularly to the ephemeral architecture of the, also Flemish, joyeuses entrées.
Indeed, a plausible model for it could be the Arch of the Flemish Nation.
Azulejos of blue and white, typical colors of the 18th century,were also used. They were manafactured in Portugal in the atelier of Bartolomeu Antunes (1688-1753) Sometimes azulejos are the most important decorative elements of churchs interiors:
In the chapel of the Third Order of Penitencia in Rio, the impression is that the beholder finds himself inside a gigantic gold reliquary. In Rio, the walls were changed into sheets of gold.
This impressive interior, one of the most stylistically homogeneous of its kind in the Lusitanian world, is the work od the Portuguese artists Manuel de Brito and Francisco Xavier de Brito and was dome between 1726 and 1743:
One of the most fascinating topics in the history of arts of the Americas is the creation of a school of late baroque architecture in the hinterland of Minas Gerais.
The discovery at the end of the 17th century of gold and diamond mines in the Minas Gerais district had caused a gold rush into the area. Towns appeared over night, replacing mining camps. Since the crown had prohibited the establishement of religious orders in the area, lay brotherhoods took a very important place in shaping the social and religious life of this places. On the other hand, not restricted by conservative monastic patterns, patrons were more receptive to novelties; indeed, novelties were required by the dynamic of rival brotherhoods:
St Francis of Assis, 1774, Minas Gerais
Rococo art, interior
Source and text references 1-The Expansion and the Arts, L.M. Sobral ; Portuguese Oceanic Expansion,1400-1800. F. Bethencourt & D.R. Curto.