NASONI, Nicola
(b. 1691, Siena, d. 1773)

Exterior view

begun 1732
Torre dos Clérigos, Porto

In northern Portugal, away from court life, a new individual school of architecture developed after 1725. The founder was Nicola Nasoni, a Sienese painter who only found his true vocation. when he came to Porto. His main creation was the Dos Clérigos church (begun 1732), an elliptical structure with a double staircase in front of the western elevation and with the typical single bell tower, attached here to the hospital wing, to the east. Apart from this unusual solution, the façade decoration deviates completely from the grandiose expression of court art under Joao V. Garlands of flowers, vases, bands, and volutes are all present, with statues, papal insignia, and architectural set pieces decorating the two-storey frontage with window aperture. The result is a picturesque whole which is reminiscent of festival or theatre decorations.

The picture shows the bell tower.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.