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Baltazar Álvares, grandíssimo arquiteto e traçador

Baltazar Álvares, grandíssimo arquiteto e traçador

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Baltazar Álvares was one of the most important Portuguese architects of all time and one of the greatest in Europe of his time. Among us, in terms of the impact produced, probably only the figure of João de Castilho reached a comparable scale. His legacy remained a valuable source of inspiration until the 18th century, adding to the history of our monumental heritage buildings of the greatest significance. Focusing on the history of Portuguese conventual architecture between about 1550 and 1640, but focusing on the activity of Baltazar Álvares, this monograph is based, therefore, on a methodology that has always privileged the confrontation of the various documentary sources collected with the morphological analysis of the built estate. , allowing to add new data to the most recent historiographical contributions, as well as biographical aspects of the life of this remarkable architect that are still unpublished.

The research carried out by Ricardo Lucas Branco constitutes the first retrospective of the work of the architect, undoubtedly a key figure in the Portuguese artistic scene of the late 1500s – early 1600s. A careful reading of the biography of Baltazar Álvares will lead the reader to discover the environment in which he moved, leading us through the treatises and the state of the art that he and his peers would have at hand when applying a project of symbolic power to architecture. , dictated by classical rules and canons. In the study of the height of imperial modernity that the Catholic Monarchy marked with its monumentality, Baltazar Álvares reappears in the light of a careful research that links the sources to what remains of his projects. The author offers us an innovative look at four central examples in the architect's work: Santo Antão-o-Novo, São Vicente de Fora, São Bento da Saúde and Nossa Senhora do Desterro; resorting not only to comparisons with architectural ensembles of the time, but also to proposals for the reconstitution of elements lost in time and new concepts to apply in the interpretation of architecture in its historical context.

The trace with which Baltazar Álvares designed, designed and built has not been erased. Its grandeur, of an artistic language strongly grounded in its classical training and in the aesthetics of a true Portuguese Italianism, colored by the ideology of the Counter-Reformation, testifies to the expression of a time that, however overshadowed it may have been, remains unforgettable in the image of the city.

Author Ricardo Lucas Branco
Introduction Rui Lobo

Foreword José Sarmento de Matos
Back cover text Miguel Soromenho

Year of publication: 1st edition September 2021
Editing: Canto Redondo – Edition and Production, Lda.
ISBN: 9789895306329

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