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Carlos A. C. Lemos

[Antonio José ]

(b Bologna, bapt July 1713; d Belém, 1791).

Italian architect and draughtsman, active in Brazil. While still a pupil of Ferdinando Galli-Bibiena in Bologna, he began to introduce into his projects the classicizing Palladian revival ideas that mark his later work. In 1753 he went to Brazil to take part in the work of demarcating the Portuguese–Spanish frontier set out in the Treaty of Madrid (1750). On completing this work in the Amazon Basin he moved to Belém, where he married and went on to become a royal architect. His designs were documented with illustrations in the album of Alexandre Rodrigues Ferreira’s scientific expedition of the late 1780s (Rio de Janeiro, Bib. N.), which facilitated the restoration in the late 20th century of Landi’s most important works. These included the vast palace for the governors of Pará in Belém, designed in 1771, for which Landi’s own designs have also survived (Lisbon, Bib. N. Col. Pombalina, no. 740). This building, despite its austere Pombaline style and the column-base ornamentation tending towards the Baroque, may, in the light of its volumetry, be considered one of the precursors of Neo-classicism in northern Brazil. Landi specialized in religious architecture, redesigning interiors, producing new retables, and decorative paintings for existing churches, as well as renovating their façades. Notable examples include the chapel of João Batista (...