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Exploring the 12 Prophets of Aleijadinho: a 3D visit

Acanthus – decorative motif, originally present in the Corinthian capital, which represents the spiny acanthus leaf. It symbolizes the sacrifice.

Acroterion – Small pedestal placed at the ends of a fronton to support a cross or other ornamental elements (facade of St. Francis of Ouro Preto).

Altarpiece – ornamental structure of stone or woodwork that rises on the back of the altar; generally according to the following classification: Jesuit or Mannerist (early seventeenth century); Portuguese national (1680-1720); Joanine (1720-1760); Rococo (1760-1816); and neoclassical (nineteenth century). His most important altarpiece is in the Church of St. Francis of Ouro Preto; drawings of São João del Rey and Carmo de Sabará.

Altars of triumphal arch – the ship near the bow (the Rosary Chapel of Santa Rita Durão and São João del Rey in St. Francis).

Angel – ornamental elements commonly used in altars and arches. The little ones are the cherubim and seraphim, archangels are the largest, as teenagers or young adults (in shutters and crownings the altars of almost all churches that Aleijadinho did).

Arcade – series of contiguous arcs; opening arc-shaped (on the side of St. Francis of Ouro Preto, subsequently arranged).

Atlante – man figure sculpture that sustains column, pilaster, choir etc. (Choir of Carmo de Sabará and column bases as São João del Rey).

Attribute – symbol, emblem or any element, in a sculpture, painting or engraving, used to identify particular saint (doors of the Franciscan and Carmelite churches with the scapular or stigmas).

Attribute of St. Francis of Assisi (in the toilet of Ouro Preto and in the angels of the doorways of Ouro Preto and São João del Rey).

Baldachin – architectural or sculptural tailpiece that protects a gateway, altar, altarpiece or sculpture (Aleijadinho dual use in crownings as São João del Rey).

Baroque – artistic style of the seventeenth century and part of the eighteenth, during the Protestant Reformation against the Catholic reform and the absolutist policy; stylistically it is associated with forms in movement, dramatic expressions, intense color, shadows and lights.

Bezel – opening for lighting above the walls from which comes the vaulted ceiling (Aleijadinho used them in the main chapel of St. Francis of Ouro Preto, however later it was made the arches on the sides).

Big pastern (pastern, pedestal) – piece that in its ornamental structure serves to support the other.

Canopy – wooden frame covered with carvings on thrones.

Cartouche – smooth surface to record enrollment or ornament (at the entrance of the stairways of the churchyard of Congonhas).

Carving – ornamental work in high or low relief usually done in wood by craftsmen (among his most important wooden reliefs are the sets of the Holy Trinity of Ouro Preto, in the Franciscan church and in the Mother Church of Nova Lima).

Chapel – small religious building; ecclesiastical nomenclature; are also called chapels any churches that are not parish churches; enclosure of a church where is a particular altar.

Churchyard – usually closed courtyard in front or around the churches (Prophets of Congonhas and St. Francis of Ouro Preto).

Consoles – protruding and decorated parts to sustain a sculptures or support cornices and balconies (the prophets are on consoles with corbels).

Corbel (pedestal) – protruding parts designed to sustain arch or sculpture (nine of the prophets are on coberled consoles).

Cross – large cross erected in churchyards, cemeteries, squares, parks, etc; part of the church understood between the main chapel and the nave.

Crossing-arch – arch that separates the central nave of the the chancel and the triumphal arch (design of the Mother Church of Barão de Cocais and St. Francis of Ouro Preto where the two pulpits were put in soapstone).

Crown – top or ornament shot (Aleijadinho made them double and with diverging rays).

Cymatium – top finish of wall of a building, where sit the roof eaves and the triangle fronton. Internally, it is called real cymatium, place in which usually begin ornamental paintings.

Damask (fabric) – Standard fabric made with reliefs forming ornaments in silk, originally coming from the city of Damascus, Syria. Typically they feature patterns of flowers, fruits, animal life forms and other types of ornaments. It is also common to find the addition of gold or other metallic fibers.

Dome – top, half spherical, in the coverage of some buildings.

Doorway – large door framed by ornamental composition (these compositions make Aleijadinho the great master, especially in Franciscan churches of Ouro Preto and São João del Rey and in the Carmelites in Sabará, Ouro Preto and São João del Rey, beyond that of Congonhas).

Draping – painted or sculpted figures drapery with regard to wrinkles or curls of garments (in the prophets are comprised of long and short tunics and mantles that make up the volumetry in all faces).

Dressing room – inner part of the main altar or altarpieces where stands the throne with image or relic of a saint.

Elevation (implements) – use of parts in Masses: vestments, vessels, candlesticks, etc.

Entablature – part of the building or altarpiece above the columns.

Fake marble – painting imitating marble used in wood altarpieces or stonework crossing-archs, pillars, walls, etc.

Finial – flower-shaped ornament that usually appears in ceiling, dome, crossing-arch back or altarpiece crowning (Aleijadinho frequently uses them below the heads of little angels in doorways or in the enclosures of the Virgin of Conception, Mount Carmel and Mercy).

Fronton – kind of gable that serves to crown the central part of the frontispiece of the church; usually also speak in fronton with respect to the altarpiece of the shot (the truncated fronton of St. Francis of Ouro Preto is the more dramatic).

Gateway – large door framed by ornamental composition (these compositions make Aleijadinho a great master, especially in Franciscan churches of Ouro Preto and São João del Rey and in the Carmelite churches of Sabará, Ouro Preto and São João del Rey, beyond that of Congonhas).

Gilding – gold coating process in ornamental pieces, altarpieces, imaginary, etc (usually the master Ataíde gilded the works of Aleijadinho, such as the toilet of Carmo in Ouro Preto).

Grotesque – painting or sculpture in that represents animals, plants or fantasy creatures (drawings of the tissue of the prophets).

Hourglass – old instrument used to measure time by means of two glass vessels with sand. Symbolizes the earthly time or life (in the toilet of St. Francis of Ouro Preto).

Illusionistic – painting in which objects or figures acquire by perspective effect, the illusion of being real or tangible (Ataíde at St. Francis of Ouro Preto).

Imaginary – art of sculpting or carving religious images in wood or other materials; set of images that make up a collection in a particular museum, church, etc (it is distinguished between the wood and its three phases and the soapstone, the prophets of the final stage at the end of life).

Inks – the process of painting in the religious and civil buildings from the colonial period generally used local materials. For the painting of wooden parts, doors, etc, with resin-dye, were added linseed oil or castor oil and leather glue. The dyes were, commonly, vegetal origin, especially as required shades, indigo, saffron, cochineal, ipê-mulatto, annatto, etc (they were used by master Ataíde for the sculptures of the Steps of the Passion).

Lambrequin – wooden ornate or metal blade to the edge of roofs or that overhangs in carved work trimmed by baldachins, valances or canopies of altarpieces (those of the side altars and the crossing-arch of the Franciscan church of São João del Rey are the most elaborate).

Lower voice – sculptural elements above the pulpit (Aleijadinho does not use it in Carmo de Sabará either in the St. Francis of Ouro Preto).

Main altar – altar or main altarpiece of a church or chapel, positioned on the wall (St. Francis of Ouro Preto).

Main chapel – major chapel, where is the altar of a church.

Medallion – painting or sculpture shaped like a big medal, circular (the most famous of Aleijadinho are the churches of St. Francis, Mount Carmel and Mercy in Ouro Preto; and Mount Carmel and St. Francis in São João del Rey).

Molding – set of frames of a building or part thereof.

Nave (central nave) – inner part of the church from the entrance to main chapel; it is called main nave when this space is divided by pillars, columns or arches.

Niche – cavity or crack in the wall, altarpiece, crossing-arch, etc, for placing objects or ornamental images (facades of the churches of St. Michael and Souls in Ouro Preto and mother church of Barão de Cocais).

Oeil-de-boeuf (oculus) – opening or circular window or decorative elliptical for the passage of air or light (on the facade of the Carmo in Ouro Preto and São João del Rey, on the facade and sides of St. Francis in Ouro Preto, Aleijadinho replaced it by a carved medallion).

Paneled – surface composed of pads or panels defined by wooden frames (windscreen of the See of Mariana).

Party – general layout of a building; form of distribution and articulation of space, so that it can identify a style (Aleijadinho used the curvy party especially in the Franciscan church of São João del Rey).

Pelican – palmiped aquatic bird that, according to legend, opens its chest to give the body like food for puppies. Symbol of the Eucharist.

Penitential cross – cross of two branches, symbol of the Order of St. Francis of Penance (arranged on the acroterion above the triangle fronton as Ouro Preto and São João del Rey).

Phylactery – roll of parchment with sacred texts; (filactera) small box containing biblical texts written on parchment ballots; in the Middle Ages, ribbons inscribed with the sayings of the characters, in general saints; in the Modern Age, texts of sayings of the characters in comic books.

Polychromy – coating work with paint or gilding of carvings, pictures, etc. with two or more colors (the master Ataide applied the polychromy to the altars and wooden sculptures of Aleijadinho).

Pontifical cross – cross of three rods, or papal.

Portal – the main door or set of main doors of a church or other building often artistically worked; frontispiece or facade, where the main door.

Presbytery – high part in the main chapel of a church.

Pulpit – tribune designed to preaching in churches or sermons of the priest; the Minas Gerais’ churches usually have two pulpits – the side of the Gospel, on the left of the entrance of the church, and the the Epistle, on the right (the most important pulpits of Aleijadinho are the two on soapstone in the Franciscan church of Ouro Preto and wooden in Sabará, in the Carmelite Church).

Radiance – circle or halo with metal beams that sets the heads of saints or crucifixes pictures, wards, etc (Aleijadinho also used in crownings of altarpieces).

Reliquary – object intended to guard relics in the form of bust or other (he performed a set for the sanctuary of Congonhas).

Risk – drawing, prospectus or plan in a outlined building, sometimes in the very walls of construction sites, such as the facade of the Church of St. Francis in Ouro Preto.

Rocaille – shell-ornamental element introduced in the ornamental doorways, crossing-archs, altarpieces, painting panels, frames, etc (Aleijadinho used them to integrate the various elements of the sculptures).

Rococo – ornamental style emerged in France during the reign of Louis XV (1710-1774) and characterized by the use of capricious curves, asymmetrical shapes and delicacy of decorative elements, such as stylized shells (rocailles), bonds, flowers, foliage, which tended a refined elegance; in Brazil last out neoclassicism (1816).

Sacrarium – box with door, usually at the center of the main altar, where are kept the hosts (Aleijadinho executed them for main altarpieces and on the side, just as the doors, because they are just compositional tabernacles).

Scapular – strip of cloth that friars and nuns of certain religious orders bring pending the chest (carved with the Virgin of Mount Carmel in Ouro Preto and Sabará).

Shell – object or ornament in a similar shape to the shell, one of the decorative motifs predominant in Baroque ornamentation.

Side altars – along the ship (St. Francis of Ouro Preto and São João del Rey).

Skull – represents the death, a reflection on the vanity of earthly life.

Solomonic – it is said of twisted column or carved spiral.

Spiral – typical turning of the seventeenth century, Solomonic, twisted, snail (columns of the side altars of St. Francis of São João del Rey).

Statuary – the art of sculpting statues; also it is said of a certain set of statues or the particular way to carve them (set of the prophets of Congonhas).

Stem – column section between the base and the capital (he made them with twists above the first third as the St. Francis of Ouro Preto).

Step – small chapel which houses sculptures or paintings depicting scenes from the Passion of Christ (chapels of the Steps of the Passion in Congonhas with the 64 sculptures).

Stonework – work of carved stone.

Stoneworker – official or master who tills the hewn stone; sculptor who carries out works with this type of material.

Stripe – piece of painting, sculpture or carving with ornaments where you see a shield or registration (Aleijadinho carved the stripes or Franciscan and Carmelite shields).

Tassel – carved ornamental motif imitating tuft of fringes (used in the berets of the prophets and to finalize the lambrequins of the altars of the Church of St. Francis in São João del Rey).

Tiles – glazed ware tile in the apparent face used for coating, waterproofing and decorative walls (imitation through Ataíde paintings in the Franciscan church of Ouro Preto; in the nineteenth century, in the Carmo of Ouro Preto).

Tipping – ensures the preservation of cultural heritage, buildings and furniture that make up the so-called national memory. They are enrolled in one or more of the four books of the Tipping, namely: Book of Archaeological, Ethnographic and Landscape Tipping, referring to “things pertaining to the categories of archaeological art”; Book of History Tipping, concerning “the things of historical interest and historical works of art”; Book of Fine Arts Tipping, referring to the “things of domestic or foreign high art”; Book of Applied Arts Tipping, referring to “works that are included in the category of foreign arts” (virtually all works of architecture, altarpiece sculpture and soapstone of Aleijadinho are toppled and hailed as a World Heritage Site, especially those of Ouro Preto and the set of Congonhas, 1985).

Toilet – small bowl or spouted fountain located in the sacristy or main chapel of the corridor (churches of Carmo and St. Francis in Ouro Preto).

Torchiere angel – angel sculpture carrying torchiere or large candlestick for candles (at the Museum of Conspiracy in Ouro Preto).

Toreutics – art of carving and sculpting in metal, wood or ivory.

Upwind – wooden bulkhead that arises usually behind the main door of a church, between the vestibule and the nave, to guard the wind (prepared for the See of Mariana).

Valance (baldachin) – strip that covers the lintel of a vain or the top of a curtain.

Volant angel – angel sculpture in attitude or flight posture (angel of the Agony in Steps of The Passion; basket of flowers on the dome of St. Francis of Ouro Preto; on the frontispieces, in pairs hold the cards or crowns as the Carmo de Sabará, Ouro Preto and São João del Rey).

Wood – the wood was one of the use of materials more intense and diverse in construction techniques and ornamental works. Cedar: used in making altars, altarpieces, imaginary, candlesticks, frames, crossing-archs bow and tables. Rosewood: balustrades, candlesticks, chests, cabinets, benches and tables. Mahogany and ximbó: chests (Aleijadinho used cedar for the altars and images of saints including the Steps of the Passion in Congonhas).