Joao del Castilho: Vault of the sacristy in the convent of the Jerónimos, Belem. Lisboa_01 Print E-mail

The naves of the Jerónimos’ convent’s church are really unique in the context of Iberian Gothic. There we have a three nave temple whose vaults rise on extraordinarily slender pillars, and both the side naves’ vaults and the central vault intertwine their ribs to form a spectacular ribbed vault which is unprecedented in southern Europe’s Gothic (photo 1).

With the same intention, Castilho designs the transept vaults with only one vault on whose surface the rib work draws six star ribbed vaults, arriving at a solution which has no comparison in European Gothic (photo 2).

The Jerónimos’ convent’s sacristy consists of four slightly rectangular vaults supported by a central pillar (photo 3). They are quite simple tierceron vaults, decorated with a quatrefoil of subsidiary ribs (photo 4); the ribs, having all a similar section, unify the four vaults and give the impression of a unique star-like drawing (photo 5 y 6) [....]

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