He was born in São Pedro de Alva, Penacova in 1959 and obtained a Degree in History specialising in the History of Art in 1985 at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Coimbra where, in 1991, he also obtained his Master’s Degree in Political and Cultural History of the Middle Ages with a dissertation entitled: “Arquitetura e Poder: o Real Edifício de Mafra” [Architecture and Power: The Royal Building of Mafra], an award-winning piece receiving the Gulbenkian History of Art Prize 1994/02 and widely published. He also acquired his Doctorate in 2002 with a thesis on: “A Morada da Sabedoria. I – O Paço Real de Coimbra: das origens ao estabelecimento da Universidade”,” published in 2005. He has been a teacher at the Art History Institute since 1986, where he was Director between 2006 and 2009, assuming the role of University Pro-Rector for Heritage (assuming functions related to Heritage, Tourism and the UNESCO candidacy– the scientific dossier of which he coordinated) – a position which he left to take up the role of Director of the Grão Vasco Museum in Viseu, where he continues to work at present.
The fundamental focus of his work has been on Portuguese Baroque art in a variety of areas, but his interest in the mechanisms of the representation of power has led him to direct his studies in the area of aulic and palace art (as an overall work of art), and in so doing has sought to delimit this academic area and project a necessary diachrony, at the same time applying a new and necessarily transversal methodology with respect to how to conduct the study of the history of art.
He is a national correspondent academic at the National Academy of Fine Arts, member of the the Scientific Association of the Portuguese Catholic University and permanent member of the Dr. Vasco Valente decorative arts prize awarding jury, Dr. José de Figueiredo Circle of the Soares dos Soares National Museum (Oporto), regular contributor to national and international scientific institutions and has a portfolio of work of more than six dozen published titles, the great majority of which in prestigious scientific publications at home and abroad, or exhibition catalogues in Spain, France, England, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Brazil.