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Art Literature Science

The Tile Painter’s Error

It is with some surprise that we can see some mistakes in the Latin phrases on the tile panels in the rooms of the Espírito Santo College, in Évora, and on the mathematical theorems in the tiles of the Santo Antão-o-Novo College, in Lisbon.

Categories
History

The Triumph of a New Dynasty

The palace and gardens of the Marqueses de Fronteira, an exemplary piece of Portuguese civil architecture of the 17th century, find their model in the programs of the Triumphal Entries, in which the cities celebrate the enthronement of a new monarch or the royal weddings.

Categories
History

Carlota Joaquina, the Beautiful Princess of Brazil

The history kept the memory of the ugliness of Queen Carlota Joaquina, of a wanton life with numerous lovers, fame fed by the Portuguese Civil War (1828-1834), and her support for D. Miguel.

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Art

The Laughter of the Monkey World

On the benches that surround the tank of one of the gardens of Quinta dos Marqueses de Fronteira, there is one tile panel with a representation of singeries. It was a satirical image and a invitation to spend free hours, without social constraints, in the garden.

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Art

A Black Slave Woman in the Kitchen

The representation of a black slave woman tending a fish in the kitchen of the Sousa Mexia Palace, currently the headquarters of the Lisbon Museum, is an essential complement to the furniture and indicates the form of social occupation of this space.

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Art

The Familiar Chinoiserie of the Rebelo de Andrade Palace

The taste and fashion of the chinoiserie were the direct result of Europe’s interactions with the East, within the framework of building a global trade network.

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Art

Architects and Tiles

The tiles made for the stairways of 18th-century palaces in Lisbon are one of the most evident examples of the close relationship between the design of architecture and the ornamentation that ennobles these spaces. They are also evidence that the hand of architects often guided the renovation of tiles.

Categories
Philosophy

The Tiles for the Congregation of the Oratory Classrooms

The building of the convent of Necessidades, in Lisbon, associated with a royal palace, is one of the various initiatives to support the modernization of science teaching practices in Portugal, in the mid-18th century.

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History

The Twelve Knights of England in the Gardens of the Marquis de Fronteira

The gardens of the Quinta dos Marqueses de Fronteira, in Lisbon, form a unique set that combines sculpture, tiles, and cladding to celebrate the triumph of the heroes of the Portuguese Restoration Wars (1640-1668) and the establishment of the new Bragança dynasty.

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History

The Life of Bernard of Clairvaux in the Monastery of São Bento de Cástris

To celebrate the nuns’ return to Évora, a major campaign of works was undertaken, with the order of 19 tile panels with scenes of the life of the French abbot Bernard of Clairvaux. Dated around 1783-1785, they are likely to have been produced at the Royal Tableware Factory, in Lisbon.

Categories
History

The Historical Primacy of the Archdiocese of Braga

In the high choir, there is a monumental representation of Paterno, bishop of Braga, presiding over a council in Toledo. This is the key theme that defines the general objective of the images of the Saint Vitor Church, with a political discourse in defense of the ambitions of the city of the archbishops.

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Art

The Chinoiserie of a Wealthy Merchant House in Lisbon

The tiles made to the wealthy merchant António Pereira’s house, currently applied over the benches and flowerbeds flanking the main entrance of the Sobralinho Palace, in Vila Franca de Xira, are one of the best examples of the peculiar way in which images of exotic countries are shaped to adjust to the taste and objectives of their patrons.

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Art Theology

Images for a Divine Pedagogy

The decorative program of the Saint James Church was completed between the years 1699 and 1700, already in the final part of the archbishopric of Friar Luís da Silva Teles. The iconographic program articulates the tile panels with the frescoes on the ceiling, in an exaltation of the Sacrament of the Eucharist, a fundamental theme for the Catholic Church after the Council of Trent.

Categories
Philosophy Theology

The Importance of Metaphysics

The program of the Jesuit philosophy course was structured in several stages and firmly anchored in Aristotelian thought. In the early levels, the students earned a solid initial training in Natural Philosophy and Logic.

Categories
Science

Science as a Christian Weapon

Both in the panel tiles of the physics class at the Colégio do Espírito Santo and the mathematics class in the Aula da Esfera, the Archimedes weapon established a bridge between the sciences and the successful evangelizing activity of the Jesuits.

Categories
Science

I Will Move the Earth

In the ensemble that decorates the main hall of Colégio de Santo Antão-o-Novo, in Lisbon, the panel with the representation of a gear system that lifts the weight of the Earth is one of the good examples of transposing an erudite knowledge to eighteenth-century tiles.

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Science

Prometheus and the Jesuit Physics

In one of the panels of the Colégio do Espírito Santo classroom, the scientific discipline of Physics is compared with The punishment of Prometheus, a theme with an enormous tradition among humanists since the work of Andrea Alciato.

Categories
Art Theology

The Triumph of the Blessed Sacrament

In Evora, a small room in the parish church of Saint Mammes has a decorative ensemble that combines the tiles on the walls with the frescoes on the ceilings in a coherent iconographic program in praise of the Blessed Sacrament.

Categories
Filosofía Literatura

Los emblemas de Otto van Veen en el claustro de San Francisco, Bahía

El trasfondo moral estoico fue la razón principal para la elección de los emblemas representados en los azulejos del claustro del Convento de San Francisco, en la ciudad de Salvador de Bahía, Brasil.

Categories
Art Theology

The Tiles of the Igreja da Misericórdia in Évora

The renovation of the inner space of the Igreja da Misericórdia in Évora is one of the best examples of the importance of tiles for combining the discourse of images with the decorative program, in a campaign carried out by the painter António de Oliveira Bernardes, in 1716.

Categories
History

Gabriel del Barco and the Tiles of Arraiolos

The tiles painted by Gabriel del Barco for the Convent of Nossa Senhora da Assunção are one of the most amazing works of the Spanish painter, a pioneer of blue and white figurative tiles in Portugal.

Categories
Art

Geometric Tile Patterns with Gilded Ornaments

Green and white or blue and white tile sets often received a gilded decoration, applied on the walls, with no relation to the ceramic manufacturing process. These relatively fragile golden ornaments have faded over the years, but traces remain on the Chapter House of Beja.

Categories
Philosophy Science

The Four Elements of the Universe

The construction of the octagonal tower of the Jesuit University was funded by António Franco, and the edifice was an opportunity for the elaboration of an innovative iconographic program.

Categories
Art

The Celebration of Wisdom in the Colégio do Espírito Santo

In 1675, there was a complete transformation of the inner space of the University of Évora Great Hall.