An invitation of Jerónimo de Távora e Noronha, the Dean of Porto, Portugal, whose brother Roque de Távora, he had met in Malta, brought Nasoni to Porto in 1723 (or 1725 ?), where he would remain till his death in 1773 at Porto. His first recorded works in Porto were frescoes on the walls of the cathedral in 1725, which are now fading.
Actually, Nicolau Nasoni began his artistic life mainly as a painter but he also created various ephemeral architecture works that granted him some notoriety in Sienna. Engaged to paint Porto’s Cathedral, Nasoni would soon become a sublime architect, perhaps stimulated by the magnificence and scenery virtues of the northern granite.
After to have accepted the responsibility for the blueprint and construction of the church that the Clérigos Bortherhood, a result of the fusion of the three Brotherhoods, intended to hoist in the city of Porto, he wouldn’t leave anymore this beautiful Portuguese city which he found a medieval town and converted into one of the most Baroque of the Portuguese cities.
He became during the 18th century one of the most influential figures in Portuguese Baroque architecture for introducing his original and vigorous and theatrical style of Baroque and Rococo architecture.
The whole baroque set of the Clérigos church-building-tower is his masterpiece, although he also showed his artistic genius in other works. Clérigos Tower as it is usually known became the emblem of Porto (ex-libris) of the city (I can’t yet believe it was out of the seven Portuguese wonders …. voted recently).
But my beautiful city is full of works by Nicolau Nasoni. He endowed it with churches and houses based on the formula of a literal translation into granite of the complex ornament in his painting.
I leave you with this beautiful photo of the façade of the Misericórdia Church (1749) (Porto) copied from Cidade Surpreendente
Façade of the Misericordia Church, Porto; photo from here
Nasoni died on Aug 30, 1763 and was was buried, at his request, in an unmarked tomb in the crypt of the Clérigos Church.