History of Romanesque and Gothic Art in Portugal


To know the context of the emergence of Romanesque architecture in the Portuguese territory; To acknowledge the Portuguese Romanesque architecture’s relations with the international panorama; To be able to recognize and characterize Portuguese Romanesque cathedrals and monastic churches from graphic representations; To understand the features of Portuguese Romanesque architectural sculpture as part of a particular artistic and mental context (11th-12th centuries); To identify the main programmes and iconographies of Romanesque sculpture; To relate the emergence of Gothic architecture in Portugal with the Cistercian order; To acknowledge the Portuguese Gothic architecture’s relations with the international panorama; To recognize and characterize the Portuguese mendicant architecture; To identify and characterize the main stages of Gothic architecture throughout the 14th century; To acknowledge the new aesthetics of Gothic sculpture; To understand the novelties of funerary sculpture.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Carla Maria Lagoas Gaspar Varela Fernandes


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language





ALMEIDA, C. A. F. (1988). O Românico. História da Arte em Portugal. Vol. 3. Lisboa: Publicações Alfa
DIAS, P. (1994). A Arquitectura Gótica Portuguesa. Lisboa: Estampa
GRAF, G. & REAL, M. (1986). Portugal Roman. Yonne
PEREIRA, P. (1995). “O «Modo» Gótico (séculos XIII-XV)”. História da Arte Portuguesa. Vol. I. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, pp.
RODRIGUES, J. (1995). “O Mundo Românico (séculos XI-XIII)”. História da Arte Portuguesa. Vol. I. Lisboa: Círculo de Leitores, pp.
ROSAS, L. & BOTELHO, M. L. (2010). Arte Românica em Portugal. Fundación Santa María la Real

Teaching method

Theoretical-practical lessons, with audiovisual material and the use of teaching methods and instruments, such as: texts; images and drawings. This curricular unit includes three field trips: Batalha, Évora and Jerónimos. The study and preparation for this curricular unit shall be done through constant reading of recommended bibliography and the support of the material provided in class.  

Evaluation method

Evaluation Method - a research essay, focusing on a building or piece of Portuguese medieval art.(50%), a written test(50%)

Subject matter

1. Romanesque Art in Portugal
1.1. The Iberian Peninsula in the international context: historical facts and artistic exchanges
1.2. First experiments: Braga’s cathedral and S. Pedro de Rates
1.3. Romanesque cathedrals: Lisbon and Coimbra
1.4. Romanesque monastic churches: 3 naves churches; single nave churches
1.5. Romanesque Sculpture: epic and teratological iconography; the aesthetics of geometry and abstraction
2. Gothic Art in Portugal
2.1. Cistercians and the new aesthetics. Alcobaça and previous interventions
2.2. The hybrid nature of the first buildings: the cloister of Sé Velha de Coimbra and Sé de Évora
2.3. The Gothic of the 14th century, from king Dinis to Fernando I: the mendicant ‘pattern’; fortified churches; the cloisters
2.4. Places of commemoration: Santa Clara-a Velha, the apse of Sé de Lisboa and the upper choir of Francisco de Santarém
2.5. Batalha and the introduction of late gothic
2.6. Sculpture: naturalism and new subjects. Funerary sculpture


Programs where the course is taught: