The constrained gestures of Isaiah, who clings to his prophecies, corresponds to the severity of his countenance when whispering disasters with a burning ember in his mouth. With his right hand, he incisively indicates the written word. The hood that begins from his robes confirms the sacred and sullen sense of his mystical mission. The beard rolls confirm his life experience, time lord, true Kronos. The Jeremiah’s gestures confirm the importance of writing with a pen on the hand; the scriptures mirror those of Isaiah, confirming a similar mission. The gesture of the prophet Ezekiel is an invitation, a call to follow the steps of the second flight of stairs. Upon reaching the third flight of stairs, prophet Baruch is already noted at the height below the eyes with his feet arranged as if walking, despite of the rigid posture. At the height of the churchyard, Daniel shows his attribute: he was closed in the lions’ den. Arms and hands balance the massive figure that solemnly ignores the beast imposed on his way, hiding it in his footsteps. Hosea, whose feet are highloghted, and whose workmanship is to be admired frontally, opens a frank dialogue with his interlocutor, Daniel, and they resemble in the exhibition of their words written in the phylacteries. Joel, on the far right, makes a rotation motion with the torso, and shows the profile of the face and combines with Hosea’s pen and beret. He is different in the manner of presenting his prophetic words to the believer. On the far left, Jonah has differences and similarities with Daniel. They are similar because both are accompanied by animals – Jonah had been trapped in the belly of a whale – and different in relation to the heads: the Daniel’s head is serene and Jonah’s head is tortured for he is emerging from the waters.
What follows is a fascinating sequence of attitudes ranging from the serenity of Amos, at the highest pinnacle, to Nahum body retreat, at the other end, perhaps revealing the human side of the prophet who accepts some uncertainty. Obadiah and Habakkuk are actors with broad gestures, vociferous, which from the pulpit, at the open air, expand the excessive gestures of the moment of preaching. Habakkuk is molested by the same wind that had shaken Nahum. All this confirms the wisdom of Aleijadinho in the positioning of each of the prophets, and the role that nature has in the composition and placement of each of them – which, in this land, fulfill a divine mission.
BAZIN, Germain. Aleijadinho e a escultura barroca no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Record, 1970.
OLIVEIRA, Myriam Andrade Ribeiro de. O Aleijadinho e o santuário de Congonhas. Roteiros do Patrimônio. Brasília : Monumenta/Iphan, 2006.
TEIXEIRA, José de Monterroso. Aleijadinho, o teatro da fé. São Paulo : Metalivros, 2007.