Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, Pampulha (General)



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Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, Pampulha (General)
At the beginning of the 40s, Oscar Niemeyer Soares Filho was invited by the then Municipal Mayor Juscelino Kubitschek to design a set of buildings in the new neighborhood of Pampulha, including the Church of São Francisco de Assis. A masterpiece of Brazilian modernist architecture due to its innovative character, its ornamentation was designed by Cândido Portinari, Alfredo Ceschiatti and Paulo Cabral da Rocha Werneck. The landscaping was carried out by Roberto Burle Marx. In 1947, following a proposal by Lúcio Costa, it was listed by IPHAN, with the building already in need of care. It was only handed over to worship in 1959, by the then Metropolitan Archbishop of Belo Horizonte, Dom João Resende Costa. In 1984, the State Institute of Historical and Artistic Heritage (IEPHAN/MG) also listed the Church. Description It is made up of four arches, made of reinforced concrete, covered with tiles, the largest being the one corresponding to the nave. The bell tower, to the right of the main facade, is separated from the body of the Church, to which it is connected by a reinforced concrete canopy, supported by two curved pillars. In the center, Saint Francis of Assisi appears standing in profile, with his arms flexed and his hands open, with a wolf in front of him. Beside it, a figure appears with arms raised and an expression of astonishment. On the left, another figure appears framed in a window, with arms raised. In the arcade on the right, Saint Francis appears sitting next to a tree, with three birds in front of him. In the two arcades on the left there are images of Saint Francis standing in profile, in a marching position, with arms forward and a figure on his knees and hands lowered. Background with curved lines in dark blue, white and blue areas in gradient tones and checkered with birds in flight and fish, motifs that are repeated throughout the panel. Representation of episodes – so-called miracles – from the life of Saint Francis of Assisi In those corresponding to the central, highest arch, in addition to Saint Francis of Assisi taming a wolf, in the city of Gubbio, there would be, in probable interpretations, Saint Francis, still young, in civilian clothes, approaching a leper to kiss him and , at the top, framed in a window, a person frightened by the expulsion of demons, by Friar Silvestre, in the city of Arezzo. On the right, San Francisco talking to pheasants. On the left, Saint Francis, possibly, in front of Saint Clare who, upon embracing religious life, symbolically cuts her hair. To the left of the main facade is the wooden cross. The main facade is entirely glazed, with a brise-soleil above the frames, both made of metal. The rear facade is covered with a tile mural designed by Portinari. The side facades do not have an opening. Internally, its division is clear, with each space performing a function. The nave, with a high ceiling, covered with wooden lining that accompanies the roof, is flanked by pedestals and paintings of the Way of the Cross. In the atrium, on the left, there is the curved baptistery and, on the right, a winding staircase that leads to the choir, also with curves. In front, on the left, are the confessional and the pulpit. In the main chapel there is a mural painting by Portinari illuminated by natural light through a skylight and in the gap between the roofs of the nave and the main chapel. Next to this, on the left, in a smaller arcade, is the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament. (Text by Marcos de Oliveira)
Obras executadas para decorar a Igreja de São Francisco de Assis, Pampulha - Belo Horizonte, MG
One tempered panel (OC17). Six tile panels (OC17). Fourteen tempera/wood paintings (OC16). See also OC16 (altar and tiles) and OC17 (Way of the Cross)
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