- (ca. 1465-ca. 1537)Sixteenth-century Portuguese playwright, perhaps Portugal's greatest, who was also a talented goldsmith, musician, actor, and dramatist. Born in humble circumstances, Gil Vicente rose to become an important figure, recognized and celebrated in the royal court of his day. His first play or auto was performed in 1502, and his last piece was produced in 1536. Vicente's work was influenced not only by the religious plays of late medieval Portugal, but by work from contemporary humanism and the Renaissance.There were at least four basic aspects of Vicentine plays: dramatization of rural folklore, social satire, imaginative analysis of nature, and religious themes. What was remarkable about Vicente, in addition to his great versatility (he was the goldsmith who produced the gold monstrance in the Monastery of Jerônimos) and brilliance, was that he was popular with both the people and the elite, and was a masterful dramatist in a country lacking extraordinary dramatic traditions. Some of his plays were censored by the Inquisition after his death, and it was only during the 19th-century romantic era that Portuguese writers sought a revival of his reputation.See also Jerónimos, Monastery of, Theater.
Historical dictionary of Portugal 3rd ed.. by Douglas L. Wheeler . 2014.
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