Altar of Repose (Throne) Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek

Manuel Pereira and collaborators

Museu de Arte Sacra do Funchal

Museu de Arte Sacra do Funchal
Funchal, Portugal

In 1648, the board of trustees of the Confraternity of the Blessed Sacrament determined to build an altar of repose for the deposition of the Holy Eucharist on Maunday Thursday.
The work was supervised by woodcarver Manuel Pereira and was completed in 1654.
It was a remarkable moveable structure in the shape of a stepped pyramid, consisting of wooden panels with carved low-relief Eucharist scenes.
It was assembled before the Altar of Good Lord Jesus on the southern side of the transept every year, during the Holy Week. Due to its size, a house was built specifically for the purpose of storing the altar of repose every time it was dismantled.
In the process of mounting and dismounting the structure, some pieces have suffered deterioration, and others have been lost or disassembled. Among the latter, a few were added to the chancel’s altarpiece, where they remained until the altar’s restoration in 2013-2014.


  • Title: Altar of Repose (Throne) Meeting of Abraham and Melchizedek
  • Creator: Manuel Pereira and collaborators
  • Date Created: 1654
  • Location: Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 136 cm x 166 cm
  • Provenance: Funchal Cathedral (Sé)
  • Subject Keywords: Portuguese art, sacred art, 17th century
  • Type: Portuguese Sculpture
  • Rights: Image Copyright: Arquivo MASF
  • Medium: Polychrome and gilded wooden bas-relief

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