José Vieira da Costa
Benefactor, brother and worker of the Misericórdia do Porto.

Son of Gregório Vieira da Costa and Faustina Rodrigues, José Vieira da Costa lived in the Rua das Flores, having served in various functions in the Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto.

He started by occupying the position of Chapel and Sacristy boy in the Private Church and in 1747, he became assistant of the Registry and of the House of the Chapter (now MMIPO's number 7 Room). The exercise of this position, we received 10,000 reis (Portuguese currency of the time) annually.

He wrote his will, naming José Lopes da Silva has his executor, in which he left the Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Porto 18,000 cruzados (Portuguese currency at the time) and with a list of addresses of houses, and the Gathering of Orphans (now Our Lady of Hope School) belonging to the same institution, with 150,000 reis. The second legacy was received in March 1802, having the first been received on the 21st March 1807.

He died on the 20th of December 1801, unmarried, and was buried in the Church of the Misericórdia do Porto.

The portrait of José Vieira da Costa is an oil on canvas by Custódio José Ferreira, which is exhibited in the room dedicated to Benefactors of the Misericórdia do Porto.

Custódio José Ferreira (or Fernando Teixeira) was a nineteenth century painter, probably also a gilder, who worked for the Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto in 1802, precisely for the execution of the portrait of José Vieira da Costa, for which he received 25,900 reis. It is the only known work carried out by this artist.

He revealed the artisanal way of painting of the time; it was manifested in particular in anatomical drawing. The physical characteristics of the portrayed are represented in an overblown way, particularly their physical strength.

However, in this piece we can see certain elements that are used in portraits of the late 18th century and early 19th century, like the scroll that represents his testament and accentuates his administrative competence. The bag of alms that the portrayed holds in his left hand symbolizes the value of the donation or the collections that the brothers of the Misericórdia do Porto did.

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José Vieira da Costa

Custódio José Ferreira, 1802

Oil on canvas