The exhibition includes one of the “founding” pieces of the Museum’s collection, a series of 26 enamel plaques painted in the 16th century, from the Monastery of Santa Cruz in Coimbra, to bring together and confront in an unprecedented way various enamel techniques applied to a sumptuous set of liturgical, devotional and apparel objects.
The pieces were produced between the 12th and 19th centuries, mainly in the workshops of the Limoges region, recognised as the most prestigious. There are many representations of this unique and demanding ornamentation technique, which is enamel. The exhibition presented several national treasures in Porto, including the triptych of the Passion of Christ from the Frei Manuel do Cenáculo National Museum, one of the most internationally recognised enamel pieces in Portugal.
The Blue and Gold exhibition also includes other pieces of great prestige such as two coffers from the Cathedral of Viseu, 12th century pieces coveted by the illicit antiques market, stolen in 1980 and found years later in Milan in a joint action by the Judicial Police and Interpol, or a bookbinding plate from the late 12th century, early 13th century, found accidentally in an excavation between Leiria and the Monastery of Batalha.
The last section of the exhibition is dedicated to the revivals, replicas and counterfeits that were produced on a large scale throughout Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries, enchanting and deceiving the eyes of museum conservators and private collectors in Europe and the United States.