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Luís Alemão



The first stained-glass master of Batalha whom we have on record is Luís, mentioned between 1438 and 1450 in just three documents. Though light on information, they are nonetheless of particular interest: Luís, stained-glass master of the Monastery of Batalha was, according to his diploma from 1450, originally from Germany. Of all the artists who worked on the Monastery, he is the only one whose nationality is documented. Luís may have been employed at the Monastery of Batalha before 1438, the date shown on the above-mentioned document where, as on-site stained glass master, he was working for the abbot of Alcobaça.


An analysis of the fragments of stained-glass which may date from the period in which Luís Alemão was in Batalha are clearly similar to works found in the parish churches Saint Magdalene, in Münnerstadt, and Saint Vitas, in Iphofen, Franconia Germany. It is believed that Luís may have come to Portugal in search of work, which was hard to come by in the part of Europe from where he had come, as no cathedrals were being built there at that time.


Translator’s note: The name Luís Alemão means literally “German Ludwig”, as the master’s first name was most likely Ludwig.