What do our eyes see? - Conference by Fr Estêvão Fernandes
06.01.2023 — 18H00
In front of the painting of the Adoration of the Magi, attributed to the master of the Adoration of Machico, a conversation guided by Fr. Estevão Fernandes, on Epiphany (January 6), at 6 pm, at the Museum of Sacred Art in Funchal, around the iconography of this theme.

Access will be free upon prior registration, via: info@masf.pt or 291 228 900
Vacancies are limited to space capacity.


The artistic quality of the so-called Nativity Cycle on display at the Sacred Art Museum ofFunchal is underlined not only by its formal dimension, typical of Flemish workshops, but also by its iconographic and iconotheological dimension. In fact, from the Triptych of Incarnation, by Joos van Cleve and collaborators, passing through the Nativity of Morrison's Triptych, to the Adoration of the Magi attributed to the Master of Adoration of Machico, the fuidor is called to enter the scope of disguised symbology, a concept developed by Erwin Panovsky and applied to 19th-century Dutch painting. XV and XVI. With it, the authors intended to overcome a certain naturalism and exacerbated immediacy, giving a new vitality and authenticity to the represented symbols. Thus, the spectator was invited to discover its meaning at deeper and deeper levels and to remain always in doubt as to whether the complete meaning had been discovered.
Since the beauty of Christmas is largely an aesthetic of the gaze, the aim is to exercise the gaze in front of the work Adoração dos Magos, highlighting some of its symbolic details. And from them, introduce a dimension that transcends the represented story itself, making it, therefore, the work, an indication that transfigures our look in relation to the present time, because as Simone Weil says «Salvation is in the look!».


António Estêvão Fernandes, born on 22 March 1983 in the parish of Campanário, in the municipality of Ribeira Brava, on the island of Madeira, is a priest of the Diocese of Funchal. He completed the Integrated Masters in Theology at the Catholic University of Portugal with a thesis entitled “Tell me who you eat with and I will tell you who you are!”. Narrative analysis of the biblical episode of the Disciples of Emmaus, directed by Doctor José Tolentino Mendonça. He was ordained a priest in 2008 after completing his priestly and theological training and until 2017 he assumed various pastoral services in the Diocese of Funchal. Since 2017, he has pursued higher studies in the field of Church Cultural Assets, at the Faculty of History and Cultural Assets of the Church, at the Pontifical Gregorian University, whose master's degree he has already concluded with a thesis entitled “Eternity: The other face of life”. The Eschatological Iconography in the Diocese of Funchal, having been guided by Doctor Barbara Aniello. He is currently pursuing a doctorate in the same area, specializing in contemporary parochial architecture, alongside his work as Vice-Rector of the Pontifical Portuguese College in Rome.