Our Lady of Mercy
Author: England, Workshop of Nottingham
Date: 15th – 16th century
Dimensions (cm): H 65,7 x W 37 x D 13,5
Provenance: Guimarães, Colegiada de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira, Capela dos Pinheiros
Inventory No.: MAS E 5
Alabaster sculpture representing the Virgin sat on a throne with her head covered by a long veil and holding Christ’s lifeless body, where the wounds of the crucifixion are visible.
In Portuguese collections, it is possible to find many alabaster sculptures attributed to Nottingham. That’s due to the commercial relationship that Portugal had with England and that was intensified with the marriage of King João I to Lady Philippa of Lancaster as well as to the period of political and religious fights that led the English protestants to get rid of and to destroy many of these sculptures, selling them to Portugal.
This sculpture was part of a group of sculptures formed by Our Lady and Saint John the Evangelist (MAS E 2) and the Holy Women (MAS E 3), these in wood. The three sculptures belonged to the Capela dos Pinheiros, located in the ground floor of the bell tower of the church of the Colegiada de Nossa Senhora da Oliveira. The Capela dos Pinheiros is the burial place for Doctor Pedro Esteves, Magistrate and Auditor to the Duke of Bragança, and his wife, Dona Isabel Pinheiro. The couple, whose residence was the Solar dos Pinheiros in Barcelos, was buried in the Collegiate Church of Guimarães, where one of his children, Dom Diogo Pinheiro, took holy orders and was prior between 1503 and 1514.