Database
English
 

Photograph: António Chaves
© Câmara Municipal de Matosinhos


Contact Details

Add to My Museum

print  Print this page

Name of Monument:
Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos
Also known as:
Igreja paroquial de Matosinhos; Igreja do Salvador
Location:
Parish of Matosinhos, Douro Litoral, Portugal
Date:
18th century
Denomination / Type of monument:
Religious architecture, pilgrimage sanctuary
Artists:
Architecture, painting and decorating attributed to Nicolau Nasoni (1691–1773); woodcarvers: Luís Pereira da Costa (active 1724–?), Domingos Martins Moreira (active 1746–1750)
Patron(s):
Brotherhood of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos
History:
The origin of the sanctuary is linked to a legend which, similar to other Portuguese legends, has its mythical origins in an object of worship. According to legend, the wooden figure of the Senhor de Matosinhos (Our Lord of Matosinhos) was thrown into the sea by Nicodemos in Palestine. The figure was found in Espinheiro, Matosinhos, on 3 May 124. During the journey it had lost an arm but no one was able to repair it. Later, an old woman was surprised by a dry branch that kept springing out of the fire and recognised it as the figure's missing arm.
Description:
Bom Jesus de Matosinhos Church has three naves, a chancel and two side chapels. It was re-built to the plans drawn by Nicolau Nasoni, who was instructed by the brotherhood to renew the church, the earlier version of which dated from the 16th century.
The reconstruction retained the 16th-century floor plan, arches and columns, but Nasoni added the Baroque façade and partially changed the elevations according to the new taste, thus allowing the installation of a coffered ceiling.
Several restorations and renovations have endowed the church with a series of gilt wood altarpieces, appropriately scaled to the building, and seen the chancel completely covered with gilt and carved woodwork.
How monument was dated:
Historical evidence and stylistic analysis

 

View Details

 
 
Façade

Rua Silva Cunha

1743–1748

Nicolau Nasoni (1691–1773)

Despite the dominant horizontal façade, the two towers are thin and crowned with the reverse ogee pinnacles that are typical of regional Portuguese Baroque.
 
 
General View of the Nave towards the Chancel

Interior, Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos

1726–1750

Portuguese woodcarvers: Luís Pereira da Costa (active 1724–?), Domingos Martins Moreira (active 1746–1750)

Although small and low, the true value of the church interior lies in the densely carved and gilded woodwork of the lateral altarpieces, seen most spectacularly in the chancel.
 
 
Chancel

Interior, Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos

1726–1750

Portuguese woodcarvers: Luís Pereira da Costa (active 1724–?), Domingos Martins Moreira (active 1746–1750)

The chancel is completely covered with gilded and carved woodwork. In the centre of the altar stands the miraculous image of Our Lord of Matosinhos flanked by Late Renaissance stone figures.
 
 
Side Chapel, left (Holy Sacrament Chapel)

Interior, Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos

1726–1750

Portuguese woodcarvers: Luís Pereira da Costa (active 1724–?), Domingos Martins Moreira (active 1746–1750)

Sumptuous gilt wood carved retable.
 
 
Side chapel, right (Our Lord of Passos Chapel and Our Lady of Soledad)

Interior, Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos

1726–1750

Portuguese woodcarvers: Luís Pereira da Costa (active 1724–?), Domingos Martins Moreira (active 1746–1750)

Splendid gilt wood carved retable.
  Selected bibliography:
Brandão, D. P., A obra de Nicolau Nasoni no actual Concelho de Matosinhos, Porto, 1964.
Oliveira, M. J., Matosinhos (…), 1989.
Citation of this web page:
Paulo Pereira "Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos" in Discover Baroque Art. Place: Museum With No Frontiers, 2014. http://www.discoverbaroqueart.org/database_item.php?id=monument;BAR;pt;Mon11;21;en
Prepared by: Paulo Pereira
Translation by: Lili Cavalheiro, Cristina Correia
Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez
MWNF Working Number: PT 21