Soares dos Reis at the Casa da Música new season

10 de January, 2024

The sculpture The Music by António Soares dos Reis will be the first of a series of work of art from the collection of the Soares dos Reis National Museum to be presented at Casa da Música in Porto, starting on 12 January, the opening date of the 2024 programming season, as part of the collaboration between the two institutions.


This year, Portugal is Casa da Música’s Theme Country. Portuguese repertoire and performers and the evocation of world composers who marked musical life in Portugal are the main axes of Casa da Música’s 2024 programme.


The season that has just begun also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the 25th of April, the 500th anniversary of the birth of Luís de Camões and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Joly Braga Santos.


The bronze sculpture The Music, which was cast in 1957, reproduces the 1877 plaster model commissioned by the Lisbon stonemason Moreira Rato. It is an allegorical image of Music, depicting a female figure in long robes, with a tunic and draped cloak, her arms bare, her head tilted slightly to the right, crowned with laurels and her hair swept up, her arms holding a zither.


The foundry was set up through the João Chagas Fund, which resulted from a bequest made to the state in 1941 by Maria Teresa Chagas in memory of her husband, the republican João Pinheiro Chagas.

António Soares dos Reis

Patron of the Museum since 1911, António Soares dos Reis, considered one of the greatest Portuguese sculptors of the 19th century, was born on 14 October 1847 in Vila Nova de Gaia.


When he was just 14, he enrolled at the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, where he won several prizes and commendations. In just a few years he had completed the course, winning 1st prize in drawing, architecture and sculpture.


At the age of 20 he became a state pensioner abroad. Between 1867 and 1870 he stayed in Paris as a pensioner, receiving lessons from Jouffroy, Yvon and Taine. In Paris he received several prizes for his work.


After a brief stay in Portugal, in 1871 he left for Rome, a decisive stage in his training. It was in Rome that he began work on O Desterrado (The Exiled) (1872), a work of classical inspiration, an essay in the transition to naturalism, which was awarded a prize at the General Fine Arts Exhibition in Madrid in 1881.


Returning to Porto in 1873 to devote himself to his artistic career, he collaborated in publications and chaired the Centro Artístico Portuense. From 1881, he taught sculpture at the Academia Portuense de Belas Artes, although he disagreed with the organisation of the teaching.


Soares dos Reis was admired by his contemporaries, received commissions, took part in competitions and exhibitions and designed public monuments. Illness and dissatisfaction led him to commit suicide in his studio in 1889.