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Loreto sacristy


The splendid sacristy of Loreto is on the back of the Main Chapel,
perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the Church.
Being ulterior to the fire of 1651 that destroyed the primitive one, with project
of architect Marcos de Magalhães, was spared by the 1755 earthquake,
along with the adjacent vaulted premises.


In the Eastern extremity of the sacristy there is an imponent mannerist door,
sober and austere in composition,
only animated by the interrupted triangular front panel.
The internal remodeling of the sacristy door, in the second half of the 19th century,
added the wooden frame with the painted weapons of Italy.


The opposite wall, more carefully designed, due to its affinities
with the portals of the church, will certainly be the work of Marcos de Magalhães.
It is divided into three vertical spans by two corrugated pilasters,
with excellent composite capitals, which have a festering taste of volutes.
The pilasters hold the entire arch back from the altar and extend over the cornice,
framing the red marble window superimposed on the altar,
flanked by two volutes.
An excellent composition formed by white, pink and black marbles,
with Arrábida marble applications.
The altar, remade after the passage of the sacristy service to the present church,
has two pilasters with rococó stypites on the side and
an image of Christ Crucified at the centre.


In this rectangular sacristy the cornice, the floor and the
the elegant center table are made of polychrome marbles.
The two side walls have a door at each end:
on the south wall, the one connecting to the vestibule and the one
providing access to the tribune and throne of the main chapel;
In the northern wall there is the lavatory and the other one
is occupied by a cupboard.
The lavatory tile decoration dates from 1676, the year of the reopening of the church.


The works from 1703 to 1705 consisted of the integral
decoration of the present sacristy, including the making
of the arches, the tiles and the painting of the vault.
Of the arches, applied to the side walls, are only from this period the backrests.
Admirably designed and realized, they value the texture of the pau-santo,
with sober, yet bustling modeling of the mannerist ornatos,
and clear Flemish suggestions.


The backrests of each archery are compartmentalized
in seven spans separated by pilasters,
filled in by four frames of pictures alternating with three mirrors.
The cut-out panels, of conventional tenebrist painting, represent
São Paulo, São Carlos Borromeu, São Jorge and São Vicente (on the North wall),
Saint Michael, Saint Peter, Saint Lawrence and Saint John (on the South wall).
In the center the backrests have a higher and more complex elevation,

with a framework supported by boys and centered by the Pontifical weapons,

on the one hand, and those of Portugal, on the other.


The current archery from the late 18th century, have, on the front,
a discreet and fine neoclassical bronze decoration.
The azulejos of the two panels, one at each side of the door, are from 1704,
an unmistakable work by António Pereira, with fine and nervous design,
completed by fleeting, rapid strokes of remarkable expressive effect.
Divided in two floors, they present in the upper part well represented landscapes,
and in the lower part three circles with boys playing,
alternating with ringed fruit garlands.


The painting of the vault, was carried out by António Machado Sapeiro séc. XVIII,

deserves prominence for its innovative composition,

abandoning two-dimensional ornaments of the seventeenth century tradition,

and adopts an open spatial composition,

with a perspective railing, painted over the cornice all around,

interrupted by flowering vases,

on whose ends seraphim who display the symbols of the Passion of Christ are seated.

In the central space several groups of little angels fluttering over

clouds wield accessories used in religious ceremonies.



The access to the sacristy is via two asymmetrical side passages,
that embrace the lateral chapels. Although they have similarities,
this arrangement differs from the plan adopted by several Jesuit churches.
The corridor on the side of the Epistle, adjacent to the Fernandina wall,
was the main access link to the sacristy through the imponent mannerist door.
The walls of the corridor have an interesting set of blue and white azulejos
from the late 17th century, with a rare composition, formed by curvilinear leaf motifs,
inspired by the ornamental painting of ceilings, and enclosure of floral motifs.


On the walls there are: a painting representing Saint Charles Borromeo,
a sober Portuguese tenebrist work of the 17th century;
a painting with the Presentation of the Child in the Temple,
attributed to the Italian painter Simão de Pesaro (1612-1648);
and a cropped lienzo dedicated to Pentecost, 1816,
with initials H. J. S. by the painter Henrique José da Silva,
which must have been on the altarpiece of the Collateral Chapel of the Epistle.


On the Gospel side, the other corridor of access to the sacristy is more irregular,
comprises a room located at the base of the bell tower, where
there is a lienzo of Jesus Crucified, a work of mid-20th century
painted by a religious of the Congregation
of the Sisters of Our Lady of Victories in Madeira,
and a vestibule at Misericórdia Street.
The azulejos are a modern copy of those in the opposite corridor.

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