Valentim da Fonseca e Silva

1745 - Mar 2, 1813

Valentim da Fonseca e Silva, better known as Mestre Valentim, was a Brazilian sculptor and urban planner. Like Antonio Francisco Lisboa, also known as Aleijadinho, he is one of the most famous artists of colonial Brazil and was of mixed race. Mestre Valentim recounts details of his life in his testament. He was born in Serro do Frio to Manoel da Fonseca e Silva, a white man, and Amatilde da Fonseca, a black woman. Although he never married, his relationship with Josefa Maria da Conceição resulted in a daughter named Joana. Although the details of his artistic training are up to debate, he may have traveled to Portugal with his family as a child. By adulthood, he found himself living and working in Rio de Janeiro.
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