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Aleijadinho (älāzhädēˈnyō) [Port.,=little cripple], 1730–1814, Brazilian sculptor. His real name was Antônio Francisco Lisboa. Although he was maimed in hands and feet, he is known for the brilliance of his church sculpture. His most famous works are the carvings in the Church of São Francisco at Ouro Prêto and the statues of the Twelve Prophets at Congonhas do Campo. The distinctive baroque style of Aleijadinho's works, carved in wood and indigenous soapstone, has caused much church sculpture in his native Minas Gerais to be attributed to him.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(literally, “small cripple,” pseudonym for Antonio Francisco Lisbôa). Born Aug. 29, 1730 or 1738, in Villa Rica; died there on Nov. 18, 1814. Brazilian architect and sculptor.

Aleijadinho was the son of the architect M. F. Lisboa (who died in 1766) and a Negro slave. He was deformed by leprosy and worked by attaching his tools to his gloves. A representative of the late baroque school, Aleijadinho built the Sao Francisco church in Ouro Préto (1766–94), which is remarkable for its dynamic composition, plastic form, elegant decoration, and fine carvings on the portals. He also designed the facade of the church Bom Jesus de Matozinhos in Congonhas (1757–77), with 12 stone statues of prophets (completed in 1805) on the stairways; these statues are brilliantly executed and express dynamism and pathos. In the garden chapels of this church he created six wooden painted groups entitled The Lord’s Passions (1780–99). He gave the judges, guards, and executioners in these groups a satirical resemblance to Portuguese colonial officials.


Mariano, I. A. F. Lisboa. Rio de Janeiro, 1945.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Brazilian architect and sculptor Antonio Francisco Lisboa designed the Catholic church and spent years working on the whitewashed building's striking sculptures.
Ambitious biopic of 18th century black Brazilian sculptorarchitect Antonio Francisco Lisboa (aka Aleijadinho) aspires to portray the artist as a martyr and mirror his times, while denouncing slavery and giving a history of Brazil's wealthy Minas Gerais region.
But seldom has the tragedy been as evident and the beauty as sublime as in the life and art of Antonio Francisco Lisboa, known as O Aleijadinho (The Little Cripple).

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