Detail of the effigies of João I and Philippa of Lancaster, 1426–34. Founder's Chapel, monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória, Batalha (plate ).The Founder's Chapel at the monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória, Batalha was a microcosm of the artistic splendours of fifteenth‐century Europe (plate ). Writing in 1623, the Dominican friar Luís de Sousa relates how its founder, King João I (d. 1433), brought the most celebrated architects and skilled stonemasons from foreign lands to build the monastic complex. Fifteenth‐century documents record the presence of French, Flemish, English, and German artists alongside their Portuguese counterparts. Although stripped of its rich furnishings and decoration in the nineteenth century, the chapel once boasted magnificent wall paintings and altarpieces, including a lost panel attributed to Rogier van der Weyden, which depicted the Virgin and Child with kneeling figures of Isabella of Portugal, duchess of Burgundy (João's daughter) alongside her husband, Philip the Good and son, Charles the Bold. The centrepiece of the chapel, however, remains the magnificent polychromed limestone tomb of João I and his English wife Philippa of Lancaster (d. 1415), commissioned by the king in 1426 and complete by 1434 (plate ). The finely carved effigies of the king and queen were
Art History – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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