(active 1500-1542 in Viseu)
Vasco Fernandes, Portuguese Renaissance painter who worked in Viseu for at least 40 years, painted remarkable altarpieces. He became increasingly famous and revered with the passing of the centuries and came to be known by the name of Grão Vasco (the Great Vasco).
His works, gathered in the Vasco Museum in Viseu from the chapels of Viseu Cathedral, the Episcopal Palace in Fontelo park and from churches of the region, are crucial for understanding what was one of the most brilliant periods in the history of Portuguese painting. This collection provides material for a fundamental appraisal of the artist's work and influence. This is, firstly, because the paintings in question are not simply the result of the individual work of the celebrated master. They are also the fruit of the periodic or relatively continual collaboration he engaged in with other painters and in particular with the Viseu artist, Gaspar Vaz, his principal partner who painted from 1514 to 1569. Secondly, the paintings have a further dimension: they illustrate the geographical, aesthetic and iconographic horizons of Portuguese painting during the reigns of King Manuel I and King João III.