Gregorio de Matos Guerra image
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Born in December 23, 1636 / Died in November 26, 1696 / Brazil / Spanish


Gregório de Mattos e Guerra (April 7, 1636 - November 26, 1696) was the most famous Brazilian Baroque poet. Although he wrote many lyrical and religious poems, he was more well-known by his satirical ones, winning because of them the nickname "Boca do Inferno" (in English: Hell's Mouth).

He is patron of the 16th chair of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.

Gregório de Mattos e Guerra was born in Bahia, to Gregório de Mattos (a Portuguese nobleman) and Maria da Guerra (a matron). He studied at the Jesuit College and travelled to Lisbon in 1652, entering the University of Coimbra, where he completed his Law degree in 1661. There he became friends with poet Tomás Pinto Brandão (1664-1743) and married D. Michaella de Andrade, and, two years later, was appointed to a judgeship in Alcácer do Sal. In 1672, he served as solicitor for the city of Bahia to the Portuguese court.

In 1679 he returned to Brazil as a widower. He was married for a second time in 1691 to Maria dos Povos, but led a rather bohemian life. A malcontent, he criticized everyone and everything: the church, government and all classes of people, from the rich and powerful to the lowly pauper, sparing no race or profession. His irreverent and satiric writings eventually got him into trouble, and Gregório was exiled to Angola in 1694. Very ill, he managed to return to Brazil the following year, but he was prohibited from entering Bahia and from distributing his poetry. He instead went to Recife, where he died in 1696.

His older brother was the painter and orator Eusébio de Mattos (1629-1692). ..