Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas (1985)
Brazil

Back to index

Brazil 1988. Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas. 

This sanctuary in Minais Gerais, south of Belo Horizonte was built in the second half of the 18th century. 

It consists of a church with a magnificent Rococo interior of Italian inspiration; an outdoor stairway decorated with statues of the prophets; and seven chapels illustrating the Stations of the Cross, in which the polychrome sculptures by Aleijadinho are masterpieces of a highly original, moving, expressive form of Baroque art. 

  • Brazil 1988. Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas. 
Aleijadinho’s greatest achievement needs to be appreciated in the context of his illness: a series of twelve statues of Old Testament prophets, 3 m (10 ft) tall, which he carved for the open-air sanctuary of the Church of Bom Jesus in the little mining town of Congonhas do Campo near Ouro Prêto. Standing like monumental guardians and as reminders of those who suffered for the Christian faith, the soapstone statues (1800-1805) were positioned on a sloping site in front of the hilltop church. 
  • Brazil 2001. Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas. 

Brazil 2001. Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Congonhas. 

Brazil 1980. Commemorating the 250th birth anniversary of "O Aleijadinho". Paintings of the life of Christ. Mount of Olives.

Below the statues, at the entrance to the complex at the foot of the hill, he designed ten little chapels in a garden containing rows of giant palm trees. 

Inside the chapels he carved life-sized wooden figures depicting scenes from the life of Christ, among them the Crucifixion and the Last Supper. 

  • Brazil 1980. Commemorating the 250th birth anniversary of "O Aleijadinho". Paintings of the life of Christ. Mount of Olives. 

Although several of the sculptures were finished or painted by assistants, all reflect the psychic intensity and suffering of both Christ and the artist. See also the Historic Town of Ouro Preto by clicking the link given below. 

Sources and links:

Other World Heritage Sites in Brazil (on this site). Please refer to the UNESCO-listing, Brazil-section, for further information about the individual properties. 

Back to index


Revised 03 aug 2006  
Copyright © 1999 Heindorffhus
All Rights Reserved