ALEIJADINHO 'The LIttle Cripple' BRAZILAIN BAROQUE ARTIST -- plus short story by WAYN
Antônio Francisco Lisboa,
the Aleijadinho (the “little cripple”), prominent Brazilian artist, was born in 1738 to a Portuguese architect father, Manoel Francisco Lisboa, and his Brazilian slave, Isabel. He died in 1814, in his native state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, poor and unknown. A foremost representative of the Brazilian Baroque, Aleijadinho worked under severe constraints, as he suffered grave physical deformities due to illness (possibly leprosy or syphilis), requiring that his working tools be tied to his hand. Taught mostly by his father, Aleijadinho left an impressive body of religious art: architectural designs and sculptures in churches, convents, and monasteries.
Aleijadinho lived and worked in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais. As the name indicated, this was an extremely wealthy mining region, which, at its peak, remitted about 25,000 kilos of gold to Portugal per year. The combination of wealth, the religiosity of its inhabitants, and geographical isolation (Minas is located inland in Brazil and its colonization occurred around two centuries after the coastal area), contributed to the development of a unique sculptural and architectural style, as seen in Aleijadinho’s legacy.
The main body of Aleijadinho’s work concentrated in a few important mining towns of his time: Ouro Preto, São João del Rei, Sabará, and Congonhas. Combining elements of the Gothic and Renaissance into the language of the Baroque, Aleijadinho developed a powerful artistic language – sculpture and architecture blend masterfully in his work. Famous examples of his sculptural work included the life size rendering of 12 prophets, standing on the stairway of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos Church, in the city of Congonhas do Campo. The Churches of San Francis de Assis, in São João Del Rei and in Ouro Preto, well illustrated his abilities as an architect.
Aleijadinho died at 76, poor and forgotten. It was during the 1920s that his art received closer attention, in the context of the Brazilian Modern Art week. He has since been considered a master in his craft and one of the first to contribute to a genuinely Brazilian artistic language.
Sources: Mirian Andrade Ribeiro de Oliveira, “Aleijadinho and Baroque Art in Brazil,” in Art and Architecture in Brazil, from Aleijadinho to Niemeyer (Chicago: Illinois Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 1984; New York: United Nations Headquarters, 1983); Sunil Bald, “In Aleijadinho’s Shadow: Writing National Origins in Brazilian Architecture, available at architecture.mit.edu/.../23/bald23/bald23.htm
"I must go on, even once, perhaps my last final work!" His eyes could not longer bear the daylight, the little man's body was trembling, while the old working room was lit up by torches. "Master, your are sick, you can't go on, think of your health, por favor!" said the young student Olimpio. "Bind the tools to my wrist! I have to complete this work, mankind will be a witness, just as Our lady of Immaculate Conception!" The litlle man yelled.
Aleijadinho, 62 now, referred to this job the 12 soapstone prophets, which would shine on pilars in front of the church of "Bom Jesus de Matozinhos", and from there to see over the hills. He walked with diffuculty and his feet were dying, his legs and arms were without any feeling. His face was ravaged, his viscous skin yellow and rotten, his theeth were allready disappeared, mucus ran from his mouth and his eyes were dark, undeniable and wet, just suitable to create his last project. The people saw him as a munster, a bantling. They named the disease 'lepra' whom reveal to him at his 47th year. He was born as son of a Portugese architect and a black slave woman Isabel. Some years earlier he made his 64 wooden figures, which represented the Calvary road and the showpiece was the Savior himself in which you could see the veins in his neck throbbing. A masterpiecee.
Aleijadinho's arms were like two stumps where his tools were tied to. This way he completed his masterpiece, the pinnacle of the Minas Gerais Baroque architecture. Now he worked like a possessed one on his 12 prophets and it seemed that he putted all his anger and feelings in it. It had to be perfect, because one of the images was his own image: Isaiah, his body resemblance, a selfs-portrait, a little man, a slighly curved body and with pain chiseled on his face. At that time his meal was just a bit of rice and beans, the meal of a man who knew that the end was near. The 12 prophets were his ultimate desire, chiseled out of soapstone with the silhouettes of human shape: Jeremias, Daniel, Joel, Amos, Naum, Abdias, Baruc, Ezequiel, after they say the most pure image, and Jesaja, his spirit. And now he worked on his last prophet, Habacuc.
"If God's willing!" he screamed fanatical: "If the good LOrd is willing!" and his arm-stumps moved with craft-full rhythm. Rain was falling in Congonhas, sweat drippng from his face and tears from eyes. He tought of his youth in Ouro Preto, where he was born, his love for the region, the hills of Minas, his love for art. He cried while finishing his last prophet. Antonio Francisco Lisboa, Aleijadinho, died on 18th November 1814, in a shack on the outskirts of Ouro Preto, like a poor hermit. rare portrait of unknown artist
THE DEATH OF A BLUES SINGER IN SÂO PAULO- SHORT STORY BY RAMBLIN' WAYN part2 & end
No coffee for his beloved brother Alves? Out of the question! Begging? He hated. Steal? That was below his standarts and he never steals. It was allready eight o'clock and firmly he stepped to the grocery store of senhor Gonçalo where he bought regularly alcohol for his little stove, and the good man, after he heard Wellingtons his story, gave him a bottle on credit. He went back to his wooden hen-house and waited for the arrival of his brother Alves, whom usually would arrive around noon. Meanwhile he had given a bath to Michelangelo and tear out the thick green, full of blood sucked ticks. It was almost half past twelve when a young man appeared. He was dressed in jeans and T-shirt. "Are you Wellington," he asked. "Yes ... and who are you? " Welligton asked uncertain. "They call me 'contraband'. I am a friend of Alves," said the boy. "Alves? Where is he? Why he didn't come?" "Your brother is sick. He sends me tell you this. He told me also that he'll urgently want to see you... He gave me some clothes... put them on and let's go... " "Should I go to Sao Paulo?" Wellington asked anxiously. "Should... is not the real word my friend. Your brother asks for it. Please... He is seriously ill. Vamos! Let's go!"
And arrived Wellington in Sao Paulo. It was already evening when they reached the place where his brother lived in a house located near the neighborhood Bras. It was an old house, about to collapse. Alves lay on bed in a smelly gloomy room. At the foot of the bed laid his strato Fender guitar. On the ground stood some amplifiers and microphones. He was in bad shape, since the half year Wellington had not seen him. The brothers embraced and wept and Michelangelo the dog howled like a straneg wolf from another planet. The skinny Alves told Wellington that his life was come to a end, as he was infected with the aids virus. The last months his life has been a mess. Injected heroin and felt in love with Madalena a little mulata. It was an addiction and he screwed on regular base other hookers. He had lived as an excessive, a stray wandering desperate outlaw and became infected. That simple? "No!" Wellington shouted: '... Alves do not dying! I love you!" "I'll have no way to deny brother. It is "finished", you hear, "acabo". I'm going back to the "jail" of salvation. See, it's my karma, no game-playing, nada! You see brother all was so planned for me, and will be right now, and the band will play: "Lagrimas dos Indios " 'Indian Tears". You remember ... When we were young and listened to the music of Muddy Waters? B. B. King... the blues ... Stevie Ray Vaughan... Frank Zappa...Yes ... The harmonica of ... yes, lembra? Wellington, say it ... " "Sonny ... Terry ... “Wellington said in a broken voice. Alves: "... Yes ... Sonny Terry ... All right ... Robert Johnson ... We are all Negroes Wellington; we have the blues, Wellington, our parents and ancestors ... the blues! And I? I played the blues of Sâo Paulo ... the city of blues, misery, injustice ... Wellington? Are you listening, my brother? I've had my share in this fucking world ... but little brother ... Your life, yes, that the life I really wanted to live. Eating from the street. Wellington ... a sincere bare Jackal ... you hear me brother! No whining in your head, no obligations ... And a dog as your best friend, a good friend. Michelangelo. Your karma Wellington is sacred ... Listen, you have to do something for me ... Go to the headwaters of the Xingu river and look for the Txukahami tribe ... Give this letter to Kalia ... Give her my love and tell her that I'll be wait where the rivers meet. And you brother ... drink every week a Pinga on me and our new embrace .. See you my brother ..." Wellington cried in his heart when he embraced Alves. Than Alves took a pistol from beneath his pillow and Wellington could not stop him. Michelangelo pricked his one ear when Alves pulled the trigger and shot a bullet through his head. The Sâo Paulo hard-core blues has ended.