LISBOA, Antonio Francisco
(b. ca. 1738, Vila Rica, d. 1814, Vila Rica)

The Bad Thief

1796-99
Polychromed wood
Sanctuary of Congonhas do Campo, Brazil

The Stations of the Cross at Congonhas do Campo consist of sixty-six statues divided among the six chapels or passos; so numerous a group could only have been carried out with the collaboration of a whole workshop. The less important figures, entrusted to helpers, are on the whole rather crude in workmanship. However, the Bad Thief from the scene of the Nailing to the Cross is definitely by Aleijadinho's own hand. In the muscular body and enraged expression, the talented mulatto expresses the supreme revolt of the man who rejects God's grace.