Categoria de Coleção: Fernando de Castro Museum House

The Figurine Seller (Buy Garibaldi!)

João Cristino da Silva (1829 – 1877)

1866 (?)

Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

This was presented for the first time in 1866 at the exhibition of the Sociedade Promotora das Belas Artes as exhibit No. 23 and entitled Compra Garibaldi! (Buy Garibaldi!). It was shown again the following year at the same society, as well as at the Paris Exhibition.

This is not a common theme in Portuguese painting, in contrast to European painting in general, since these travelling salesmen of plaster statuettes, most of whom were of Italian origin, immigrated to countries such as France, Austria, Switzerland and England.

The figure depicted on this small canvas, whose clothing suggests he is Italian, is carrying, rather precariously, a board on his shoulder on which he displays a series of plaster and ceramic pieces ready to be sold. In his right hand, he holds a bust of Garibaldi, identical to the many others produced in homage to the Italian hero, encouraging its purchase. This painting is exhibited at the Soares dos Reis National Museum.


Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905)

Portugal, Caldas da Rainha

Glazed, polychrome faience

Inventory sheet

Kept inside the bedside table of the collector’s bedroom, this ceramic spittoon created by Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro is a good example of how the artist brought social and political criticism from newspapers into his work.

Despite being a common object of everyday use at the end of the 19th century, its value lies more in its criticism than its usefulness. However, its hygienic function reinforces that criticism. It’s like saying, “Well, let’s go spit on this damn moneylender! Who, to top it all, offers loans at interest rates of 50% per month”, which can be made out in the inscription on the green lenses of his glasses.

John Bull Chamber Pot

Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro (1846-1905)


Portugal, Caldas da Rainha

Glazed and polychrome earthenware

Inventory sheet

Kept inside the bedside table of the collector’s bedroom, this chamber pot shaped piece representing John Bull alludes to the stereotypical greedy and authoritarian Englishman.

Being depicted as a chamber pot reveals the anti-British position that Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro took as a consequence of the English Ultimatum of 1890, where the English disputed the Portuguese dominion over the African territories between Angola and Mozambique, causing great indignation in various quarters of Portuguese society. In addition to his presence in ceramic works, highly critical drawings of John Bull often appeared in the pages of the artist’s newspapers.

Sculptural group

South China

19th century (late) – 20th century (early)

Inventory sheet

Representative of a 19th century collector’s taste, these pieces recreate, above all, figures from local folklore, legends and operas. Characteristic of these ceramics is the use of blue Jun glazes in contrast to the painted flesh, making the hands and faces more expressive.

Initially produced for the British and North American markets, they soon dominated European collecting. These pieces from the Fernando de Castro House-Museum can be seen in the Blue Room, which is the closest of all the rooms in the house to the idea of the Chinese Room, so common in the 19th century.

Portrait of Fernando de Castro

Alberto Joaquim da Silva (1882-1940)


Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

The collector Fernando de Castro is here represented in a full length portrait, seated on a leather chair next to a desk and a bookcase: attributes of his poetic, literary and caricaturist activities.

With a meditative air, he rests his right hand on one of the several books open on the desk. His left hand holds a cigarette, an object always present in his various portraits throughout the house.

Le Malade Imaginaire

Giuseppe Signorini (1857–1932)

19th century (late) – 20th century (early)

Watercolor on paper

Inventory sheet

Giuseppe Signorini distinguished himself mainly as a watercolourist and genre painter with a dominant orientalist theme. His work often depicts scenes that took place in Morocco and the Near East. At the same time, he was interested in more satirical themes, producing scenes featuring ecclesiastics, especially cardinals.

This watercolour, inspired by Molière’s Le Malade Imaginaire, is a case in point. In a luxurious interior, a cardinal wearing a red cassock and zucchetto, apparently ill, lies on his back while a figure dressed in black, presumably a doctor, is taking his pulse.


Francisco de Campos (Flandres, ? – Évora, 1580)

16th century

Oil on wood

Inventory sheet

Initially thought to be by the Mannerist painter, Gaspar Dias, this painting was definitively attributed by José Alberto Seabra Carvalho, in 2004, to his contemporary Francisco de Campos. This master, of Dutch origin, followed an artistic career that was only known through his works in Portugal.

The large, wide-format oak panel, composed of eight vertical elements, has signs of having been only slightly cut on the left side of the composition. The pictorial surface has burn marks on the lower third, suggesting that the work must not have been set very high place on the altarpiece.


Veloso Salgado

Signed and dated 1914

Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

Veloso Salgado distinguished himself essentially as a portraitist and historical painter. His strong connection to Naturalism, however, allowed him to explore other themes so characteristic of this movement.

On the threshing floor of a rustic house, in front of a wall, two women are organising pumpkins that have accumulated in the foreground of the composition. The play of light and colour, so characteristic of the naturalist aesthetic, is presented here by the pumpkins’ different shades of yellow.

The Martyrs of Morocco


18th century

Baked, polychrome clay; satin and sequins; metal cord and rod

Inventory sheet

Image depicting the martyrdom of five Franciscan friars at the hands of Moorish soldiers, under the command of Prince Abosaide, which occurred on 16th January 1220. This highly dramatic piece displays the sculptural resources common in the Portuguese Baroque period, such as the use of the wooden structure as a setting (as in monumental Nativity scenes) and the application of sculptural materials to create a more realistic miniature theatrical scene.


Henrique Moreira (1890-1979)

20th century

Polychrome clay

Inventory sheet

A disciple of António Teixeira Lopes, Henrique Moreira’s vast work clearly perpetuates the naturalist heritage of the second half of the 19th century.

Through the vivacity of its colours and themes, the sculptural group Singalong (Cantar ao desafio) captures a festive atmosphere, where a seated young man sings and strums a stringed instrument, possibly a braguesa (a traditional guitar like instrument from Braga), and a girl in traditional Minho dress accompanies him singing and clapping her hands. The work fits perfectly with the general theme of the room: the Sala Regional or Minhota (Regional or Minho Room).