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Cipriano da Cruz, Frei [Manuel de Sousa]locked

(b Braga, c. 1650; d Tibães, 1716).
  • Pedro Dias

Extract

[Manuel de Sousa]

(b Braga, c. 1650; d Tibães, 1716).

Portuguese sculptor. He was born to a family of craftsmen and later entered one of the many workshops of wood-carvers in Braga. In 1676, however, he entered the Benedictine order at its Portuguese mother house of Tibães, near Braga. Here he made statues and reliefs for the church of S Martinho. From this period date his St Benedict and St Gregory the Great and the relief of the Visitation, now in the Benedictine church, S Romão do Neiva. Between 1680 and 1683, during the abbotship of Frei João Osório, he made terracotta sculptures of the eight Virtues and the four Benedictine kings (Tibães, Sacristy), images that appear rather rigid and stereotyped.

Frei Cipriano da Cruz moved to Coimbra before July 1691, when it is recorded that he made the St Catherine in the chapel of the University of Coimbra. This contact with the main centre for sculpture in Portugal had a broadening effect on his art. His most important work outside Tibães is the group of serene and dignified sculptures (dispersed) that he made for the Colégio de S Bento (Benedict), Coimbra. This group includes his gilt and polychromed wooden ...

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