2023 was the second best year in a decade

4 de January, 2024

The Soares dos Reis National Museum ended 2023 with a total of 74,712 visitors, the second best year of the last decade in terms of public attendance, only beaten by 2016 (totalling 98,694 visitors), the year in which the museum presented the temporary exhibition dedicated to Amadeo de Souza Cardoso, Porto – Lisbon, 2016 – 1916.


Inaugurated on 13 April, and marking the museum’s full reopening after the refurbishment work, the long-term exhibition brings together the most important collection of 19th century Portuguese art.


A total of 1.133 pieces tell the story of the museum and art, spread over 27 galleries.

With a history of almost 200 years, the Soares dos Reis National Museum – the first public art museum in the country – has been repositioning itself, now taking a new look at its collections.


The long-term exhibition presents a journey with two complementary narratives. The first reflects the history of the Museum and the way the collections have been integrated; the second emphasises the artists and their works.


About the Soares dos Reis National Museum
The Soares dos Reis National Museum has its origins in the Museum of Paintings and Prints and other Fine Arts objects, created in 1833 by Pedro IV of Portugal, the first Emperor of Brazil, to safeguard the assets sequestered from the absolutists and convents abandoned during the civil war (1832-34).


With the extinction of the religious orders, artworks were collected, among others, from the monasteries of Tibães and Santa Cruz de Coimbra. Known as the Museu Portuense, it was housed in the now-defunct Convent of Santo António da Cidade, in Praça de S. Lázaro, and was formalised by decree in 1836 by King Maria II.


In 1839, it passed to the direction of the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, which organised a series of exhibitions in which notable artists such as Soares dos Reis, Silva Porto, Marques de Oliveira and Henrique Pousão were honoured, in successive generations of masters and disciples.


With the proclamation of the Republic, it was renamed the Soares dos Reis Museum in memory of one of the most outstanding names in Portuguese art. In 1932, it was renamed the National Museum, a period marked by a significant reorganisation by Vasco Valente, through the incorporation of objects from the Episcopal Palace of Porto (Mitra) and the Industrial Museum, as well as the deposit of collections from the now-defunct Municipal Museum. This was followed, in 1940, by the installation of the Museum in the Carrancas Palace, where it still remains.