The production of terracotta sculptures of large size was well documented from the middle of the 17C in Alcobaça and Tibães. At the end of the 18C, reminders of this form of art were found in calvaries and the Stations of the Cross, made by various potteries.

 

¶ How the Cistercians of Alcobaça came to learn this art is unknown but its origins probably lie in France or Italy, where monumental works in terracotta had been in vogue from the end of the 15 .

‘The Last Supper’ by Hodart, made between 1530 and 1534, for the refectory of the monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, is an outstanding example of Renaissance/Mannerist sculpture, and unique in Portugal.