Gaspar Frutuoso was born in 1522 on the Azorean island of São Miguel. He studied at the University of Salamanca and was ordained a priest around 1554. From 1566 onwards, he settled in the Azores, serving as vicar and preacher in the town of Ribeira Grande, where he would spend the rest of his life, dedicating his free time to humanistic studies.
In the last decade of his life, from 1580 onwards, Frutuoso worked on the composition of an extensive manuscript, which he titled Saudades da Terra, in which he dealt very minutely and very documentedly, and in six books, with the history of the Atlantic archipelagos, including not only the islands of the Azores, but also the islands of Madeira, the Canaries and Cape Verde. It is one of the most notable chronistic enterprises of the sixteenth century, which remained manuscript at the time.
In October 2022, recalling the fifth centenary of the birth of this relevant Azorean writer, the National Library of Portugal organized a bibliographic exhibition on "The library of Gaspar Frutuoso", attempting to reconstruct a part of what would be his bibliographic heritage, as it is known that at the time of his death, in 1591, Frutuoso owned a library with about 400 printed works.
On the occasion of the closing of this bibliographic exhibition, the National Library of Portugal is organizing a colloquium dedicated to Gaspar Frutuoso, which will feature the participation of several historians who have dedicated themselves to the study of the life and work of the Azorean chronicler (Avelino de Freitas de Meneses, José Damião Rodrigues, Onésimo Teotónio de Almeida, Rafael Moreira and Rui Manuel Loureiro).
The event will also feature the launch of the new biography Gaspar Frutuoso: the man and the work, by Avelino de Freitas de Meneses.
Rui Manuel Loureiro (CHAM)
OrganizationCHAM - NOVA FCSH
Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal