A Brilliant Portuguese Renaissance

In Lisbon, the Jerónimos monastery and the tower of Belém bear witness to the splendor of the early 16th century.e century by the court of Manuel Ier, enriched by gold from Brazil. Surprise at the Louvre: thirteen panels exceptionally lent by the Museum of Ancient Art in Lisbon show that this luxury also extended to painting. This was first influenced by Flemish artists invited to the Portuguese court, such as Francisco Henriques or Frei Carlos, combining naturalism and refined glazes. Then she traced an original furrow with characters adorned with brocades and heavy jewels reflecting the luxury of the Manueline court. In his panels dedicated to the life of Saint Auta, Cristovao de Figueiredo even represented the famous Portuguese caravels that sailed the seas of the globe and the black musicians that Manuel Ier had brought from Africa. In another anonymous painting representing Hell, a devil still appears on an African throne, but with a feathered headdress imported from America. Rarely have we seen such cosmopolitan sources mixed!


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