João de Gaia
Trovador medieval

Nationality: Portuguesa

Biographical Note:

Portuguese troubadour, active in the final period of the galician-portuguese poetry, that is, at the end of the 13th century and the first half of the 14th. Referenced as a squire in the attributive notes of the songbooks, João de Gaia is present in the Book of Lineages of Count Dom Pedro, that adds to his name and filiation a mention to having been “mui bom trobador e mui saboroso” (a very good troubadour and a very funny one) (LL16C7). In fact, João Esteves de Gaia still belonged, as a bastard, to the important Maia lineage. Son of the cleric Estêvão Anes da Maia and a lady from Guimarães, it has reached us the document, dated 1319, through which Dom Dinis recognizes him, allowing him access to his parent’s assets (namely assets in the region of Vila Nova de Gaia, where he would have been born). Resende de Oliveira supposes1 that he would have joined the court of Dom Dinis in the final years of the 13th century, eventually as a vassal to one of the magnates that joined the monarch in the fight against prince heir Dom Afonso. The date of his death is unknown although, judging from his datable composítions, it might have occurred around 1330.


1 Oliveira, António Resende de (1994), Depois do espectáculo trovadoresco. A estrutura dos cancioneiros peninsulares e as recolhas dos séculos XIII e XIV, Lisboa, Edições Colibri.

Read all cantigas (in Cancioneiros' order)

Cantigas (alphabetical order):

Come asno no mercado
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Eu convidei um prelado a jantar, se bem me venha
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Meus amigos, pois me Deus foi mostrar
Cantiga de Amor

Se eu, amigos, u é mia senhor
Cantiga de Amor

Vej'eu mui bem que por amor
Cantiga de Amor

Vosso pai na rua
Cantiga de Escárnio e maldizer

Doubtful Authorship:

Em gram coita vivo, senhor
Cantiga de Amor