(b Braga, 1748; d Oporto, 1815).
Portuguese architect and military engineer. He was the most distinguished of the late 18th-century architects of northern Portugal, where he introduced the new spirit of Neo-classicism. He was the son of a musician at the episcopal court at Braga, whose protection and influence were valuable to him. Working in Braga during a period of transition, Amarante ended the architectural tradition inherited from André Ribeiro Soares da Silva, and, although he lacked Soares’s creativity, he made an important contribution to the city. Amarante’s later work in Oporto was in a more developed Neo-classical style and was an integral part of the new face of that city.
Though he trained as a military engineer, his first activity was designing rocaille ornament. His source for the new aesthetic forms may have been Jacques-François Blondel’s Cours d’architecture (Paris, 1773), lent to him by the royal archbishop, Dom Gaspar de Braganza (1716–89). His first contract, won in competition with João Bernardes de Silva, was for a design, submitted in ...