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Lisboa, 1768 – Rome, 1837

António Domingos de Sequeira

Lisbon, 10 March 1768 – Rome, 8 March 1837

This drawing has on its verse the inscription:

“This drawing of Sequeira was offered to me by the Archt. Teixeira Lopes, 1918”

(Archt. José Teixeira Lopes, Porto, 18721919)

On the front of the drawing we can read:

“Drawing made by Domingos de Sequeira made in the village of S. Jerónimo a Real (Braga) when he was doing a painting for the Bom Jesus”.

In 1807, Domingos de Sequeira spent a period of time at the home of his friend and protector Pedro José da Silva in the village of S. Jerónimo a Real where he prepared works for the Confraria do Bom Jesus (Braga).

António Domingos de Sequeira was born in Belém, Lisbon, into a modest family. He later changed his family name from Espírito Santo to the more aristocratic Sequeira. He studied art first at the academy of Lisbon, before moving to Rome, where he was Antonio Cavallucci`s pupil.

By the age of thirteen, he had evinced such marked talent that F. de Setubal employed him as an assistant in his work for the João Ferreiras Palace. Sequeira resided in Rome from 1788 to 1794, when he was made honorary member of the Academy of St Luke. After another two years and further study in Italy, he returned to his native country with such a great reputation that important commissions for churches and palaces were immediately entrusted to him: scriptural subjects, large historical compositions and cabinet pictures.

In 1802, he was appointed first court painter and, in this role, executed many works for the prince regent, for Dona Maria Teresa, and for members of the court. He designed the valuable silver service which was presented by the Portuguese nation to Wellington, and a monument that was erected in 1820 in the Rossio square at Lisbon. In 1823, he visited Paris where he is known to have tried his skill in lithography and etching. In 1825, he painted the "Death of Camões", which was considered by many to be the first proto-romantic or romantic Portuguese painting.

The last years of his life he spent in Rome, devoting himself chiefly to devotional subjects and to his duties as head of the Portuguese Academy. He saw a Turner exposition in the late 1820s, that served as inspiration for some of his best paintings, like the "Adoração dos Magos" (1828). He died in Rome in 1837.

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