Conservação do túmulo de Frei João Coelho (séc.xvi) em pedra de Ançã da Igreja do Mosteiro de Leça do Balio

  • Ana Rita Martins Peixoto Xavier (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The tomb of Fr. João Coelho, located in the church of the Monastery of Leça do Balio, is a great example of the Manueline style sculpture, executed in Ançã limestone, by Diogo Pires, o Moço. Despite the high quality of execution of this tomb, as well as the importance of the national monument in which it is located, the literature on the same is very scarce, being only mentioned in some publication. Likewise, no information was found related to previous conservation and restoration interventions on the tomb of Fr. João Coelho. However, the state of conservation in which the object of study was found, essentially in the tomb ark, reveals the possibility of a previous application of a coating which, once aged, will have caused its yellowing, provoking a great impact on the aesthetic unity of the tomb. Thus, it was found to be extremely relevant to carry out the study of the tomb of Fr. João Coelho, including its historical contextualization, as well as its surroundings; the study of alteration phenomena; the study of the pigments present; as well as the characterization of the surface microbiome. The FTIR analysis allowed us to conclude that the yellowing in the tomb ark was probably caused by the application of linseed oil. The study of polychromy, through SEM, proved the presence of vermilion, possibly being the original polychromy. The use of biological analysis methods allowed the characterization of the tomb surface microbiome. Still in the tomb, it was concluded that most of the pathologies present were due to the presence of high values of moisture and incompatible mortars above the tomb's arch. Regarding the intervention on the tomb, this focused essentially on the removal of surface deposits, and the removal of the aged coating. After carrying out several cleaning tests, it was decided to use ammonium carbonate to remove the yellowing coating, allowing a controlled removal of it, thus making it possible to restore the correct reading of the tomb of Fr. João Coelho.
Date of Award24 Feb 2022
Original languagePortuguese
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorEduarda Vieira (Supervisor), Nuno Camarneiro (Co-Supervisor) & Maria João Revez (Co-Supervisor)


  • Monastery of Leça do Balio
  • Fr. João Coelho’s tomb
  • Ançã limestone
  • Manueline style
  • Conservation


  • Mestrado em Conservação e Restauro de Bens Culturais

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