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date: 05 December 2019

Fabri, Francesco Saverio [Francisco Xavier]locked

(b Medicina, Bologna, 1761; d Lisbon, 1807).
  • José Eduardo Horta Correia

Extract

[Francisco Xavier]

(b Medicina, Bologna, 1761; d Lisbon, 1807).

Italian architect, active in Portugal. He qualified after studying at the Accademia Clementina, Bologna, where he was influenced by the great tradition of the Bolognese school as well as by the Palladianism that was current when he received his artistic and technical training. A visit to Rome was also important; while there he was invited by the Oratorian, Francisco Gomes de Avelar, who in 1789 had become Bishop of the Algarve, to go to Portugal and work in his diocese.

Fabri arrived in the Algarve in November 1790 and lived with his cultured and enlightened patron in the Episcopal Palace at Faro. There he designed a hospital and seminary and was active in planning the reconstruction of many churches that had been ruined or destroyed by the Lisbon earthquake of 1755. Fabri also built the city arch, the Arco da Vila (c. 1792), at one end of the old harbour, where he framed the original gate with a majestic double architectural composition. The arch itself is framed by two Ionic columns and crowned by a niche with a triangular pediment in which stands a fine Italian statue of St Thomas Aquinas. This composition is in turn framed by another, divided by four Tuscan pilasters and surmounted by a bell-tower, also with pediment and wings. Adjoining the triumphal arch, Fabri built the new hospital incorporating the 16th-century Misericórdia Church, to which he added a façade with a triangular pediment, and at one side of this a Tuscan arcade open to the Ria (all ...

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