The exhibition ‘The Father of the Christ’ makes revelations about sculptor Manuel Dias

An exhibition with sculptures by Manuel Dias (1688-1755), which reveals his authorship in the work “Virgin with the Child and Saint John the Baptist”, after investigation, is inaugurated on Thursday at the National Museum of Ancient Art (MNAA), in Lisbon.

Contacted by the agency Lusa, a source from the museum’s communication office, she indicated that the conservation and restoration work carried out in this piece, and consequent investigation process attributed it to Manuel Dias.

The piece – belonging to the MNAA collections – was identified as Our Lady of Charity, and the works revealed “unique qualities in sculpture and original polychromy”.

“Its plastic values integrate it into the group of images produced by the sculptor for many churches in Lisbon, of which the Archangel Saint Michael and the Immaculate Virgin of the Church of Pena stand out, extending the traditional cognomen of ‘Father of the Christ’ to a vast work of baroque sculptures, “according to the museum.

Known as the “Father of the Christs”, Manuel Dias (1688-1755), an artist of the Baroque Johannine, is considered one of the most skillful sculptors of his time, having directed in Lisbon a workshop that distinguished himself for four decades by the production of images devotionals in wood, and that only finished with the death of the sculptor, in the earthquake of 1755.

The artistic competence of Manuel Dias earned him prestige and status from buyers and patrons like Frei Baltasar da Encarnação, founder of the Brotherhood of General Charity.

The exhibition “The Father of the Christ” opens on Thursday at 6:00 pm in the Painted Ceiling room, open to the public on Friday and will be on display at the MNAA until March 3, 2019.

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