Gabriel del Barco y Minusca

(c. 1649—1703)

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(b Sigüenza, Spain, 1649; d ?Lisbon, c. 1703). Portuguese tile painter of Spanish origin. He arrived in Lisbon in 1669 and began his career as a decorative painter in the workshop milieu of the city. From 1690 he confined himself to the painting of azulejos (glazed tiles). He contributed to the development of a monumental conception of figured panels and to the use of cobalt blue as the characteristic colour for Portuguese tiles. He developed the use of azulejos to form a unified pictorial design and created a repertory of decorative elements such as friezes of vases, flowers, single motif tiles and patterns. His important works include panels with scenes from the Life of St John the Baptist (1691) in a chapel at Barcarena, near Deiras. The magnificent wall coverings in the nave of S Vitor, Braga, depict saints from the Minho and Galiza and saints who were bishops of Braga. In the sanctuary are scenes from the Life of St Vitor (1692), all of which are surrounded with borders of Baroque foliage.


From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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