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Santos, Reynaldo dos

    Full Name: Santos, Reynaldo dos

    Other Names:

    • Reinaldo dos Santos

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 1880

    Date Died: 1970

    Place Born: Oeiras, Portugal

    Place Died: Lisbon, Portugal

    Home Country/ies: Portugal

    Subject Area(s): Portuguese (culture or style)

    Career(s): physicians


    Historian of Portuguese art and medical doctor; successor to José de Figueiredo at the Academia de Belas Artes, Lisbon. Santos’ parents were Clemente José dos Santos, a physician, and Maria Amelia dos Santos Pinheiro. His grandfather was Clement José dos Santos, Baron Santos Clemente. After secondary school, Santos entered the Medical-Surgical School of Lisbon in 1898, graduating in 1903. The Portuguese industrialist João Afonso de Carvalho gave Santos a stipend to study with French surgeons in Paris, 1904-1905, Santos subsequently tavelled to the United States to continue his study medicine. An interest in art developed during holidays in Portugal at Figueira da Foz where, with his friend, Henrique de Vilhena, where he participated in amateur archaeology. He read and was deeply influenced by the historical-positimism of Hippolyte Taine, suggested by António Santos Rocha. He completed a medical Ph.D., writing a thesis and surgical treatments of pancreatitis, Aspectos Cirúrgicos das Pancreatites Crónicas in 1906, joining the faculty of the School of medicine in Lisbon the following year. Throughout his life, his primary career would be medicine with a specialty in urology and artierography. He became disillusioned with the conditions and staff of the hospital and left under dispute, becoming Director of Municipal Hospitals. In 1915, he and the art historian José de Figueiredo discovered tapestries in Pastrana, Guadalajara, Spain derived from the Asilah region. He was critical of Portugal’s neutral status in World War I, particularly by its decision not to send medical aid to the wounded. During the War he volunteered as a surgeon for British hospitals in northern France (26th General Hospital unit) and the hospital at Wimereux. He was discharged with the British rank of major. After the War, Santos studied in Tuscany, writing a book on the Portuguese Renaissance painter Álvaro Pires de Évora in 1922. The same year he published a book on the church of Manueline, identified Francisco Alvarez as the artist of the symbol of Manueline art. He and Jorge Cid published a monograph on Nuno Gonçalves in 1925, examining in particular Gonçalves’ panels of the Adoration of S. Vicente. In 1930, he was appointed to a newly-created Chair of Urology. In 1932 he was one of ten who founded the Portuguese Academy of Fine Arts (Academia Nacional ed Belas Artes). His book on Nuno Gonçalves appeared in 1939. He and his wife, Irene Quilhó, printed a book privately on Portuguese goldsmith work of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in 1954. His Historia del arte portugués appeared in 1960. After his death in Lisbon, a symposium was held in his memory by the Fundução Gulbenkian. As president of the Academia Nacional ed Belas Artes, Santos had “revived a somnolent institution” by creating the Inventario artistico de Portugal (Smith). His view of Portuguese architecture was not in the European model, but as in the case of the Manueline, finding its own style.

    Selected Bibliography

    [dissertation:] Aspectos Cirúrgicos das Pancreatites Crónicas, Lisbon, 1906; A Tôrre de Belém, 1514-1520: estudo historico & arqueologico. Coimbra: Imprensa da Universidade, 1922; Alvaro Pires d’Evora, pintor quatrocentista em Italia. Lisbon: Imprensa Libanio da Silva 1922; As Tapeçarias da Tomada de Arzila. Lisbon: Oficinas gráficas da Biblioteca nacional de Lisboa, 1925; “L’Homme et la Mer dans l’Art Portugais.” in, Ramalho Ortigão, conferência proferida em 8 de agosto de 1935 pelo ilustre crítico de arte [conference]. Anals das bibliotecas, museus e arquivo histórico municipals 9 (1935); L’art portugais: architecture, sculpture, peinture Paris: Plon, 1938; Nuno Gonçalves, o Maior Pintor Peninsular até ao Século XVII, 1939, English, Nuno Gonçalves: the Great Portuguese Painter of the Fifteenth Century and his Altar-piece for the Convent of St. Vincent. New York: Phaidon, 1955; Os primitivos portugueses (1450-1550). Lisbon: Academia Nacional de Belas Artes, 1940; and Lacerda, Aarão de, História da arte em Portugal. 3 vols. Pôrto, Portugal: Portucalense Editora, 1942-53 [actually 1947-56]; andQuilhó, Irene. Ourivesaria portuguesa nas colecçóes particulares. Lisbon: [self-published], 1954; Historia del arte portugués. Barcelona, Editorial Labor, 1960.


    Smith, Robert C. “Recent Publications on the Fine Arts of Portugal and Brazil.” Art Bulletin 26, no. 2 (June 1944): 124; Bazin, Germain. Histoire de l’histoire de l’art: de Vasari à nos jours. Paris: Albin Michel, 1986, pp. 287, 449-450; “Reynaldo dos Santos: Médico, pedagogo, cientista, escritor, historiador e crítico de arte, um ser em movimento, universal: 1880-1970.” [website]; Dicionário Cronológico de Autores Portugueses 3 (1994); [obituary:] Revista de artes e letras 59, (June 1970).

    Contributors: Lee Sorensen


    Lee Sorensen. "Santos, Reynaldo dos." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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