The Madragoa Pottery belonged to a large group of small manufacturing units that formed the industrial ceramics nucleus of the Lisbon parishes of Santos-o-Velho and Santa Catarina.
One of the most important of Lisbon, the pottery was located next to the Nossa Senhora da Soledade Convent, better known as the Trinas do Mocambo, and it is possible to identify it in the tile panel of the Panoramic View of Lisbon from the Museu Nacional do Azulejo.
The production of tiles in the Madragoa Pottery went through three generations, beginning with the master potter Bernardo Francisco (1677-1743), followed by his son Francisco de Sales (1707-1763), and by his grandson, the tile painter Veríssimo Xavier de Sales (1736-act.1772).
In the management of these small industrial units, it was practically mandatory that potteries collaborate with others in the large orders for the supply of tiles for palaces and convents. Bernardo Francisco and his successors will focus on cooperating with neighboring Guarda-mor Pottery, directed by his brother-in-law, António Gonçalves (act.1694-1719).
The tile painter Valentim de Almeida, who was the godfather of a daughter of Bernardo Francisco, established a long collaboration with the Madragoa Pottery. The move of the painter’s family to the parish of Santos-o-Velho was the result of the commission that Valentim de Almeida carried out, for the lower cloister of the Oporto Cathedral, with payments made in 1729-1730.
Everything indicates that together with Francisco de Sales, the eldest son and successor of Bernardo Francisco, Valentim de Almeida and his son-in-law Sebastião Gomes Ferreira painted the tiles for the classrooms of the Espírito Santo College of Évora, between 1744 and 1749.
In 1752, Valentim de Almeida, in partnership with his son Sebastião de Almeida, painted the tiles for the Quinta da Piedade da Póvoa de Santa Iria chapel, in Vila Franca de Xira, a singular work with splendorous colors, carried out in collaboration with the master potter Cláudio Gonçalves (1708-1754).
Xavier Veríssimo de Sales, the oldest son of the master potter Francisco de Sales, was also a tile painter, with a production associated with the master tiler António Manuel Godinho, who granted a loan for the pottery in 1771.
In the last phase of this family dynasty, the master potter Joaquim José Henriques, son-in-law of Sales, worked with the master tiler Francisco Jorge da Costa (1749-1829) and the painter Bernardo José de Sousa (1738-act.1790).
MANGUCCI, Celso. “Olarias de louça e azulejo de Santos-o-Velho dos meados do século XVI aos meados do século XVIII ” in Al-madan, n. 5, 1996, pp. 155-168. ISSN 0871-066X.