OLIVEIRA, Mateus Vicente de
(b. 1706, Barcarena, d. 1785, Lisboa)

Interior view

Basilica da Estrela, Lisbon

The greatest church built in the period following the Great Earthquake was the Basilica da Estrela. It was built in an exceptionally prominent position in Lisbon between 1779 and 1792 by Mateus Vicente de Oliveira and Reinaldo Manuel dos Santos. This massive domed building is a votive church endowed by Maria I on the occasion of the birth of an heir to the throne. It expresses all the pomp of the era of João V, it is, moreover a smaller version of the gigantic, monastic residence at Mafra, which was never completed. The majestic interior with its superb finishing makes it one of the great achievements of Portuguese art.

The church was incomplete at the time of de Oliveira's death and work continued under the direction of Dos Santos, who was responsible for much of the classical details of the church's exterior, but the blueprint of the church is credited to de Oliveira.