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Thread: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

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    Otavio's Avatar
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    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    Dear all, long time no thread!!

    I travelled last christmas to Minas Gerais, the Brazilian state I was born and grew up in. I plan to post some threads of diferent subjects I shot in that state during this last vacation that I spent there.

    This first set is about Aleijadinho’s crowning achievement: The 12 prophets. Aleijadinho (Real name was Antônio Francisco Lisboa) was a Brazilian Sculptor and Architect born in Minas Gerais in 1738. Aleijadinho is the Portuguese word for “The Little Cripple”. He was disfigured and crippled by leprosy, and created his masterpiece (The 12 prophets) with his chisel and hammer tied to his fingerless hands by his slaves (yes, slavery was still not over in Brazil at that time). As he no longer had feet to stand on, he had pads strapped to his knees up which he'd climb the ladders needed to get him off the ground.

    The prophets were sculpted from 1800 to 1805, nine years before Aleijadinho’s death. They are arranged around the courtyard and stairway in front of the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus de Matosinhos located at the city of Congonhas do Campo.
    The 12 prophets are disposed in two groups of six. One group is composed by the 6 optimist prophets, led by Obadiah, with his Right arm raised to the sky, while the other group is composed by the 6 pessimist prophets, led by Habakkuk, with his Left arm raised! Every group of six is composed by two subgroups of 3, disposed in a triangle formation (a masonry symbol). So, there are 4 triangles of 3 prophets each!

    Historians believe every prophet was meant to correspond to one of the members of to the “Inconfidência Mineira”, a revolution that occurred in Minas Gerais and started the Brazilian Independence movement. This correlation between prophets and members of the Minas Gerais revolution are pointed out by historians due to signs that Aleijadinho left hidden in the prophets statues (some of those genius stuff)! But that is another story...

    I hope you like the prophets. Sorry for the number of images, but I really wanted to show you all the 12 Aleijadinho’s stone guys!
    Cheers!


    #1 - The Sanctuary of "Bom Jesus de Matosinhos"
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #2 - Daniel
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #3 - Jonah
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #4 - Ezekiel
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #5 - Isaiah
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #6 - Hosea
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #7 - Obadiah
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #8 - Baruch
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #9 - Jeremiah
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #10 - Joel
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #11 - Amos
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #12 - Habakkuk
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    #13 - Nahum
    MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets
    Last edited by Otavio; 19th January 2013 at 02:05 AM.

  2. #2

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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    Welcome back Otavio, was wondering where you had gone.

    Educational history lesson and thanks for posting pics of the sculptures. Amazing pieces of work considering his lack of digits. It is not something people outside (or even inside) Brazil get to see.

    About the pics, #1 has the makings of a great image. The sky is nice and dramatic but bit too bright and the focal point ie the building is a shade too dark. Perhaps adjust the 2?

    The statues - some are very well exposed and others are too back lit. Please try to fix that.

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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    A wonderful story and incredible feat, the talents of men never fail to amaze me, despite their terrible destructive natures also. I agree a little PP of the lighting would display the details more consistently. Thank you for sharing.

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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    WOW I had never heard of him thanks for sharing! I love sculpture and have done some myself my favorite sculptor is Bernini.

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    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    Hi Bobo, thank you for viewing and commenting. I played with some of the images that, I agree, were too backlit. I hope they look better now. Cheers!

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    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    Hi Connie. I absolutely agree with you! Men can always surprise us in both way (making good and bad things)!
    Thanks for viewing!

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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    Otavio,
    I enjoyed seeing again the 12 prophets of Aleijadinho. I was at Congonhas do Campo in 1967, when I was just 14 years old and I was impressed with the greatness of his work.
    Really these are magnificent sculptures in soapstone, which unfortunately are little known outside Brazil.
    Thank you for sharing the photos.
    It's great to see you again in CiC.
    Antonio.
    Last edited by Panama Hat & Camera; 18th January 2013 at 10:18 PM.

  8. #8
    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    Hi Roger. Thanks for viewing and I am glad that you liked it! Regards...

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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    My favorite is Hosea, it appears the clouds have parted for him. A great series .

  10. #10
    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    Thank you very much, Antônio. It's really an impressive job of Aleijadinho! Unfortunately pics are not allowed inside the Church!! It's very interesting to see a chinese dragon inside a catholic church, among other interesting stuff, such as painting, relics, scupltures, etc.

    Kindest regards...

  11. #11
    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    James, thank you very much for viewing and for the encouraging words! Kindest regards...

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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    Dropped in to take a 2nd look and yes the small edits have made the statues pop. Well done.

  13. #13
    Otavio's Avatar
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    Re: MINAS GERAIS - Set 1: The Twelve Prophets

    Thank you Bobo! It was quite a challenge to threat some of these images, specially the ones I shot with the afternoon sun directly against the lens (Could not wait till next day to shoot them with the morning sun behind me!). Neither I have a decent flash (filling), only built in.
    Anyway, I'm glad there's always the PP resources to save us!! Kindest regards!

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