Portuguese family of wood-carvers. Gaspar Coelho (b Portalegre; fl 1582–1605) and his brother Domingos Coelho (fl 1582–96) worked in collaboration constructing altarpieces. They introduced a new form that was widely adopted in Portugal until the 1630s, the key element of which was concentric arches, giving the whole design a closed appearance basically different from the open termination in separated units of, for example, the contemporary Spanish retable. This type of Portuguese retable, which completely filled the terminal wall of the apse, often ended in a pair of columns that maintained the rhythm of paired columns below and that eventually tended to frame full-length statues rather than paintings.
The works of the Coelho brothers include the retable of the church of the Colégio of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, Coimbra, which contains paintings on panel by Simão Rodrigues. Gaspar was responsible for the main retable of the church of Santa Cruz, Coimbra (destr.), and the choir-stalls of the convent of S Maria de Celas, Coimbra (both ...