The red frescoes are from the Upper Choir Stalls in the Convent where Princess Joana spent most of her life in Aveiro. The nuns were not allowed to come in contact with regular church attendees, so the "upper Choir stalls were a holy place" where the nuns met to attend mass and carry out their duties. These areas were richly decorated. The panels above the seats were "CHINOISERIE" panels depicting European and Asian figures to create a type of Chinese lacquer effect.
The Convent is where Princess Joana spent her life. Infant Joan of Portugal was the second child of Afonso, but after the early death of her older brother John she was declared heiress to the throne in spite of being female. She was given the title of "Princess of Portugal," a title was reserved for the heir apparent. Other children of the king were called, "Infante (Prince)" or "Infanta (Princess)". Even though she lost this title after the birth of her younger brother, the future John II of Portugal, among the people she continued to be known as Princess Joan.
From a young age, Joan expressed a desire to become a nun; however, as she was second-in-line to the throne, her father did not allow it. During his military expedition to Tangier in 1471, Joan served as Regent of the Portuguese Kingdom.
After vehemently refusing several proposals of marriage, Joan joined the Dominican Convent of Jesus in Aveiro in 1475. Her brother had, by then, been given an heir, so the family line was no longer in danger of extinction. Still, she was compelled several times to leave the convent and return to the court. She turned down an offer of marriage from Charles VIII of France, 18 years her junior. In 1485, she received another offer, from the recently widowed Richard III of England, who was only 8 months younger. This was to be part of a double marital alliance, with his niece Elizabeth of York marrying her cousin, the future Manuel I. However, his death in battle, of which Joan allegedly had a prophetic dream, halted these plans. Joan never formally professed as a nun.
She continued to be a great supporter of her brother, John II of Portugal, throughout his reign and her life.
Joan died on 12 May 1490 in Aveiro and was buried in the Convent of Jesus in Aveiro. She was beatified in 1693 by Pope Innocent XII. As of this writing she has not been canonized, but she is known in Portugal as the Princess Saint
To my dismay, many old buildings have fallen in disrepair and this is an attempt to preserve a little of the patrimony of Portugal before it's too late.
The blue tiles are from a chapel near the church in Maceda. Lovely blue borders! The earrings are very lightweight and measure 3 1/4". Jasper beads and gold plated ear wires. They will come in a gift box.
All my tiles are replicas made of polymer clay where the image actually becomes part of the clay through baking. No glue is used in the process. The pieces become waterproof and scratch resistant. Due to the handmade and hand shaped nature of each tile, slight variations will occur, as no two pieces are alike.
Wear a Piece of History!
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