House and Chapel at Sítio de Santo António
São Roque, São Paulo, Brazil
Fernão Pais de Barros ordered the construction of the estate’s main house around 1640, and later on had the chapel – originally an oratory – built according to the licence requested in 1681. The design is typical of the so-called “bandeirista houses”, standing out among the rest due to its harmonious proportions and the location of the chapel, which stands away from the house. These two buildings were made of rammed earth on a stone foundation. The chapel has a stone belfry faced with clay and with a hipped roof protecting a single bell. The façade has a porch and windows with diamond-shaped trellises. The interior is one of the finest examples of São Paulo architecture. It has a single nave separated from the chancel by the crossing arch. There are still three altarpieces in the interior – one in the chancel and two side ones in the nave that are carved in the plateresque style. The interior is also notable for the pulpit with a two-headed eagle (the symbol of the Habsburgs) and the “grotesque” paintings in the nave and chancel. The anthropomorphic angels holding candles are of African inspiration and are also quite remarkable. These same decorative elements are repeated in the sacristy. The house and chapel passed to the Baron of Piratininga in the late 19th century, and. following his death in 1945, were purchased by Mário de Andrade. Both the house and the chapel were listed by iphan on 22nd January, 1941, and by condephaat (ex officio) on 11th December, 1974. When Mário de Andrade died in 1962, they were bequeathed to iphan and underwent major restoration work under the supervision of Luís Saia.
Beatriz Piccolotto Siqueira Bueno