Congonhas was not in our initial plan, but, with a small detour, we decided to go there.
It is easy and quick to visit, and the contact to the art of Aleijadinho was particularly impressive, because the place had become familiar to all of us, by its use in Brazilian novels.
The church of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos is surrounded by a large collection of some of the most famous statues of Brazil.
Several times showed in Brazilian novels that fill Portuguese TV, it was for us more like a meeting then a discovery. But we enjoyed it (specially Fernanda).
Let me translate some words of prof. Moacyr Vasconcellos:
“In only 200 meters in straight line, in the modest town of Congonhas do Campo, (…) there are concentrated 78 sculptures which compose the most fabulous ensemble of baroque art in the world: they are, the 66 images in cedar of Passos da Paixao, and the 12 prophets in soap-stone.
Amidst them, we count a minimum of 40 figures considered masterpieces.”
These works were conceived, directed and maybe executed by “Aleijadinho”, which means… it’s hard to translate: something around dear crippled, or poor crippled, or small crippled.
Born and dead Portuguese, in Brazil (1730?-1814), Antonio Francisco Lisboa, is, maybe, the greatest artistic name in Brazil.
Professionally a carpenter, he became a genius of sculpture, with works all over the state, that the Portuguese discovered through the novels . I will be obliged to talk about him, in some other tips.
For more details see: Aleijadinho