ARRUDA, Diogo de
(c. 1470-1531)

Biography

Portuguese architect, part of an important family of architects. He was the son of João de Arruda the Elder (d. 1490), brother of António de Arruda (doc. 1514), and Francisco de Arruda (c. 1480-1547), and uncle of Miguel de Arruda (c. 1500-1563)

Diogo de Arruda worked within the Manueline style; he was responsible for the nave and chapter-house of the Church of the Order of Christ at Tomar (1510-14). It has a mass of exuberant decoration, including net-like vaults over the two-storey space, and external ornament combining Royal coats-of-arms, emblems, musical instruments, ropes, sails, and marine flora and fauna.

Between 1514 and 1520, Diogo traveled to North Africa with his brother Francisco de Arruda to build fortresses in Mazagão and Azamor. Here they were influenced by Islamic art.

Back in Portugal, in 1521, he was appointed by the king as master of the works of the district of Entre Tejo and Odiana.

Between 1518 and 1524 he directed the construction of the new castle of Évora. In this castle, he chose to build square corner towers by taking models of the military architecture of the Renaissance, the first application in the country. The castle is decorated with cords characteristic of the Manueline style. On the same date, he began the realization of the church of Viana do Alentejo, one of the finest examples of the Manueline style in the Alentejo.

In 1525, during the reign of John III of Portugal, he was appointed architect of the royal palaces. He may have participated in the construction of the Royal Palace of Évora.