Categoria de Coleção: Painting

The Soares dos Reis National Museum painting collection dates back to 1833, with the creation of the first public art museum established in Portugal, the Museu Portuense. Today, the collection has about 2500 objects and covers a period ranging from the 16th to the 20th century. The collection’s most emblematic group is dedicated to Romantic, Naturalist and Realist painters (19th and 20th centuries) and includes names such as Silva Porto, Marques de Oliveira, Artur Loureiro, Sousa Pinto, Henrique Pousão, Aurélia de Souza and António Carneiro.

One of the reasons for the creation of the Museu Portuense was the need to collect works from abandoned convents and churches. In 1836, with the creation of the Lisbon and Porto Academies of Fine Arts, the Academia Portuense was installed in the building where the Museum’s collection was housed: the Convent of Santo António da Cidade (the current Municipal Public Library of Porto). This situation lasted for almost a century, during which time the museum served the Academy and some works by teachers and students were added to the collection. This was according to what was established in the respective statutes: exams for academic posts, scholarship holders and also gifts from various sources. This historical contingency gave the collection a distinctive mark: the predominance of works by Portuguese artists, mainly from Porto, from the 19th and 20th centuries. The donations and legacies to the Museum and the acquisition policies defined since then have contributed to the expansion of the collection in this same direction. Between 1932 and 1950, under the direction of Vasco Valente, the collection entered a new phase marked by the sharing of collections with the Porto School of Fine Arts and the integration of the collections of the Museu Municipal do Porto on a deposit basis in 1937. The merging of the collections gave greater diversity and quality to the collection, broadening its geographical and chronological representativeness. The main core of the Porto Municipal Museum’s painting collection was formed with the acquisition, in 1850, by the Porto City Council, of João Allen’s collection (1781-1848). This consisted of 599 paintings by national and foreign artists, from the 16th to the early years of the 19th century. The municipal collection also includes 113 works bequeathed by Júlio Osório in 1911 and 21 works by Silva Porto donated by Honório de Lima in 1941. Between 1950 and 1960, under the direction of the sculptor and professor, Salvador Barata Feyo, the Soares dos Reis National Museum began updating its collection, changing the paradigm of the institution’s acquisition policy by investing in works by contemporary artists. This new direction was resumed in 1975 with the installation at the Soares dos Reis National Museum of the Contemporary Art Centre, which would become the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. During the six years in which the Centre’s pioneering activity took place, nearly a hundred works representing the multiple artistic experiments then taking place, such as neo-figuration, neo-abstractionism and pop art, entered the Museum’s collection. Over the last two decades, the Museum has continued to acquire works on an occasional basis with the aim of strengthening its permanent exhibition and also to absorb a large number of donations. It is these actions that have enriched the collection with a remarkable representation of 20th century painting, which combines the final productions of the previous century’s movements and the avant-garde works of Portuguese Modernism, as well as the multiple artistic experiments from the 1960s to the 1980s. It features artists such as Eduardo Viana, Amadeo de Souza-Cardoso, Armando de Basto, Dordio Gomes, José Tagarro, Diogo de Macedo, Júlio Resende, Ângelo de Sousa and Álvaro Lapa among many others.

Self-Portrait by José Tagarro

Autorretrato de José Tagarro

José Tagarro (1902-1931)


Oil on pressed cardboard

Inventory sheet

In this double self-portrait, the artist paints himself in the very act of self-depiction. It is a premeditatedly realised game of opposing times between the two artistic worlds in which the artist moved: drawing and painting. The former is clearly reinforced, since the painted portrait is here the moment of passage and the drawing, refined in rigour and synthesis, the final work.

This is a highly particular work that José Tagarro produced towards the end of his life and which was, in fact, prematurely interrupted. Considered one of the most revealing of how the artist understood his own production and career, it is one of the most striking self-portraits in Portuguese art.

Houses of Malakoff

Casas de Malakoff

Dordio Gomes (1890-1976)


Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

A key Portuguese artwork of the first half of the 20th century, this stretch of houses in the suburbs of Paris would also be explored by Dordio Gomes through engraving and in his Autorretrato da Natureza Morta (Still Life Self-Portrait) produced a year later. Malakoff is on the outskirts of Paris, named in honour of the French victory in one of the battles of the Crimean War. The place has attracted numerous artists, both as a place of residence and as a subject.

In this painting, the tension generated by the distortion of volumes and space, as if seen through a lens, provokes a sensation of vertigo and creates a disquieting and desolate atmosphere. The simplification of forms, the strategic placement of black lines and the accentuation of edges reveal the artist’s interpretation of a synthesis of influences that marked European art of this period, in which Cézanne and German expressionism predominated.

Barcelos Pottery

Louças de Barcelos

Eduardo Viana (1881-1987)


Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

Testifying to the avant-gardism of Eduardo Viana’s production in this period, the theme of this painting – a set of small clay figures characteristic of Barcelos and a rag doll – is completely in tune with the interest that emerged in the first half of the 20th century in Europe for games and features synthesising popular traditions.
Eduardo Viana usually bought clay figurines in the Barcelos markets and would have introduced the subject to the circle of artists that was then forming around the Delaunays, who arrived in Portugal precisely in the summer of 1915. See, for example, the numerous jouets portugais produced after that by Sonia Delaunay or Amadeo de Souza Cardoso’s A Russa e o Fígaro (The Russian Woman and Le Figaro).

Snapped Apple Tree

Macieira partida

José Júlio de Sousa Pinto (1856-1939)

Brolles, 1883

Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

This work, whose original title was Après l’orage, confronts us with the desolation of an elderly poor woman on finding her apple tree split by the storm. Eminently narrative, the work draws us into the scene and involves us in the personal drama of the character, immediately arousing our empathy.
Perhaps one of the rare moments in which Portuguese painting of this period truly touched the realistic register, this painting nevertheless demonstrates the artist’s extraordinary technical skill. It offers us an unusual compositional structure, in which the figure and the tree are part of an immense foreground, crowned by the narrow strip of distant houses and by the sky, still darkened by the storm.

Awaiting Success

Esperando o Sucesso

Henrique César de Araújo Pousão (1859-1884)

Rome, 1882

Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

In this work, Henrique Pousão subverts the classic theme of the ciociaro, inhabitant of the Italian region of Lazio, represented here as a mischievous, half-clothed boy, captured not posing, but at the very moment when he is resting from his pose and has dared to sketch someone’s portrait. The idea of the improvised artist, a precocious and natural genius, who takes advantage of the painter’s absence to take his place and show his work, in the expectation of an uncertain reception, are aspects that function almost like a projection of the artist’s circumstance onto that of his model. This work thus reveals an unexpected artistic ‘manifesto’ sent by the young painter to his masters. Painted in Rome in 1882, Pousão sent it from there to the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, as part of the consignment of works from his second year as a scholarship student abroad.

Interior (Seamstresses Working) or Between Lunch and Dinner

Interior (Costureiras trabalhando) ou Entre o almoço e o jantar

Marques de Oliveira (1853-1927)


Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

This scene of domestic intimacy is well defined by the original title the painter gave it when he exhibited Entre o almoço e o jantar (Between Lunch and Dinner).
Silva Porto displays a highly developed sense of composition here and there is great quality in the treatment of light, together with a rare narrative richness.
An unexpected novelty in this representation is the dialogue between the interior, where everything takes place in an intimate atmosphere, and the landscape represented in the background, from where the intense light emanates. This light invades the interior in an oblique direction and is seen projected on the white tablecloth placed on the table and on the transparency of the bottle. Marques de Oliveira painted the work in 1884, a few years after his return from his scholarship stays in France and Italy between 1873 and 1879.

A Wheat Field – Harvest (Outskirts of Paris)

Um campo de trigo – Seara (Arredores de Paris)

Silva Porto (1850 – 1893)


Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

This final piece for his State scholarship in Paris was sent by the painter to the Academia Portuense in 1879. It represents a rural landscape in large format done in the outskirts of Paris.

The vibration of the light on the motifs, the rapid brushstrokes of intense colours and the unconventional representation of space in perspective (through bands of colour differentiated by the texture and impasto technique) express the modernity of the emerging aesthetics that influenced Silva Porto in the artistic centres he attended and the intense work he carried out in France and Italy between 1873 and 1879. The reasons for the landscape painter’s success on his return to Portugal and his influence over younger generations can thus be clearly understood.

Junot protecting the City of Lisbon

Junot protegendo a cidade de Lisboa

Domingos António de Sequeira (1768 –1837)


Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

During the Peninsular War, Domingos Sequeira established friendships with officers of the Napoleonic army, such as the Count of Forbin, an officer and amateur painter. This approach earned him a commission for an allegorical representation of General Junot’s protective action over Lisbon. Thanks to this activity, Sequeira was seen as a collaborator with the occupying enemy and was therefore subjected to persecution and conviction, from which he was only rehabilitated at great cost.

This composition has three groups of figures in the foreground, including Junot, in military dress, facing a young woman who represents the city of Lisbon, supported by Religion and the Genius of the Nation. On the left, the two men represent Mars annihilating Neptune, symbolising France and England respectively, while on the opposite side, the two women symbolise abundance and wisdom, Ceres and Minerva.

Flight of Margaret of Anjou

Fuga de Margarida de Anjou

Francisco Vieira, o Portuense (1765–1805)


Oil on canvas

Inventory sheet

This scene was painted in London and presented in 1798 at the Royal Academy of Arts exhibition. The episode chosen by the painter refers to David Hume’s History of England, and specifically a moment from the War of the Roses between the Houses of Lancaster and York. A thief tries to rob Margaret of Anjou, Queen of England, when she was fleeing with her son to Scotland. This highly emotional moment is theatrically reinforced here by the heroine being placed at the mercy of the monumental, terrifying and untamed landscape.

Portrait of Princess Marguerite de Valois

Retrato da Princesa Margarida de Valois

François Clouet (1505-1510 – 1572)

Oil on oak

Inventory sheet

Dated 1561, this small work depicts a 16th century French court figure, Princess Marguerite de Valois (1553-1615), done by one of the most prestigious French painters of the time, François Clouet. It was considered one of the greatest works in João Allen’s collection, along with another related painting, the Portrait of Henry II, by the same artist and dated 1559, which is also in the Soares dos Reis National Museum.

Princess Marguerite, who would have been eight years old at the time, is depicted in half-length on a black background, with dark hair combed into fine braids and decorated with pearls. Her dress dominates the composition due to the exuberance and richness of its embroidery.