"Church of Saint Francis of Assisi" Ouro Prêto Things to Do Tip by Gwynethart
Ouro Prêto Things to Do: 62 reviews and 136 photos
This church is quite interesting. It is the most famous church in Ouro Preto, and is an incredible example of Mineiro baroque. The construction was started in 1766. It is considered to be the masterpiece of the Brazilian born carpenter, construction supervisor and architect, Antônio Francisco Lisboa, Aleijadinho. He actually carved the whole exterior and interior of the church. The exterior has military symbolism: the cannon waterspouts; military (two-bar) cross; the domes shaped like soldier's helmets.
The paintings inside were the work of Brazilian artist, Manuel da Costa Athaíde. Athaide was born in Mariana and baptized on the 18th of October 1762. We weren't allowed to take photos inside the church, but the ceiling is amazing. Apparently, he never married, but he had four children by either an African woman, or a woman of African descent. He painted the Virgin Mary as an African, and all the surrounding cherubs as mullatto! I think it is just great and really very rebellious, especially considering the era in which it was painted.
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