To show you how dramatic the situation is, let me just say that I’ve processed 243 images from Lisbon, and then 88 from the rest of the year since mid-September 🙂
The website of the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos has what Wikipedia lacks, namely a few details about the sculptor of this masterpiece, a Flemish artist named Philippe de Vries, aka Filipe Brias.
In any case, now I have changed to the 40-150/2.8, the lens that I’ll use in the next posts for a few more images of the upper story of the cloister.
This was the first image that I’ve processed after returning from Lisbon. If I had taken no other image, it would still have been a successful trip.
Actually I have a whole series of these images. They were hard to take, because I had to crouch and bend back in order to get the frame. That’s very awkward and not exactly a steady stance for shooting handheld at a quarter of a second 🙂
Here’s a variant taken at 12 mm, but really, the wide angle makes all the difference for me.
You may remember, the cloister has two stories, and the last two images of the previous post were already taken from the stairs up to the upper floor.
When you go up the stairs, you can turn right into the cloister, or left back into the church. That’s where we are now, back in the church, on the gallery above the tombs of the poet and the explorer. From there we look one more time through the giant forest and into the heart of the empire.
Isn’t this majestic?
By the way, the second image was taken handheld at 1/13 s at 52 mm using the Olympus 40-150/2.8. Love this lens.
I can’t really tell why. Probably it’s because we have not so many old monasteries in Austria, and certainly not in Carinthia, where I was born. Actually Carinthia has always been a backward province, more rural than anything else.
During the age of Baroque there was a lot of money in Austria and Germany, therefore many of the old monasteries were rebuilt in baroque style, much like São Vicente.
Among the most beautiful cloisters I always remembered the oriental splendor of Monreale in Sicily, the delightful elegance of Mont Saint Michel, and now the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is also in that league.
While Spain concentrated on the gold of the New World, Portugal was more interested in trade with India.
Venice, on the height of its own power at the time of the fourth crusade, the one that Enrico Dandolo infamously directed against Constantinople, had almost grabbed a monopoly on the eastern trade, and breaking that monopoly was what Portugal was after.
Whatever the influences are (I’m only speculating), this cloister is as good as it gets in European architecture. Of course, being one of the main sights of Lisbon, it is always full of people. You need time to get the images that you want.
This is again one of those cases where one visit is not enough. I’d like to see this place through the seasons, at different times of the day, before sunrise or after sunset. Well, that’s the difference between visiting a place and living there. If you visit, you have to accept what you get. Not that I got it bad though. I’m just saying 🙂
I’m glad I looked it up. I’d already wanted to sell it to you as the tomb of Vasco da Gama. Turns out I haven’t seen it. It looks very similar and must be on the other side of the entrance hall, on that side, where light was really, really bad.
So, this is Luís Vaz de Camões, a classical poet instead of an explorer, younger than Vasco da Gama, but still from the period of Portugal’s highest power.
The image is an HDR, made in Lightroom from two exposures. As you’d expect, with the dark interior and the bright window, contrasts were brutal.
You have to pay some small entrance fee in order to visit the sacristy.
It’s not absolutely mandatory to do so, but that’s not because it is not beautiful. It is, albeit in all the splendor of the monastery, in a way the sacristy is just more of the same. A wonderful ceiling one more time, though not very different from that in the nave.
Here we see tasteful consistency again. Well, that’s what happens when a church is built in a relatively short time, and in order for this to happen, an enormous amount of money must be available 😀