VIEIRA, Jacinto
(b. ca. 1700, Braga, d. c. 1760, Braga)

St Gertrude

c. 1725
Painted wood
Monastery church, Arouca

With the gaps that still exist in present-day scholarship, the sculptors of these numerous 18th-century religious images decorating Portuguese churches are mainly anonymous. But we do know the author of the group of Benedictine female saints decorating the 'coro' of the Arouca monastery church. In 1725 payment for the figures was made to a sculptor from Braga, Jacinto Vieira. Carved in wood, the statues are painted white to simulate stone; they are exquisite examples of the cult of femininity that inspired so many 18th-century artists.