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View of the Convent of St Jerónimo de Belém and the mouth of the River Tagus in Lisbon

L'ÉVÊQUE, Henry (1769-1832)




The inclusion of African slaves, men and women, in various workspaces did not diminish the religious dimension of their life in Catholic Portugal. After a period of enforced adaptation to daily life, participation in religious and recreational events was a way to mitigate their hard existence, taking part in charitable collections, brotherhoods and processions, ‘in their own way’.

The exuberantly dressed figure of the andador de almas (souls’ walker) often appears in the iconography of Lisbon between the 17th and 19th centuries. This engraving shows one of the most repeated views of the beach of Belém: in the foreground, we can see a diverse cluster of people, including women, men and children sitting at a table, next to a booth selling food and wine. To the left of the image, the souls’ walker tries to raise funds for his brotherhood.

2 Vista do Convento de Stº Jerónimo de Belem Museu de Lisboa.jpg

© Museu de Lisboa