Monday, 15 July 2013

Joana de Vasconcelos' ground floor exhibition at Palacio Nacional da Ajuda, Lisboa - (cont.) - The 14th of July 2013


"Crossed Destinations" (2012), a Portuguese guitar decorated with hand woollen crochet stood proudly in the Music Room filled with other instruments, many of which King Luis and his wife are said to have played. Many of the paintings that decorate this room (belonging to the Monarch's private collection) were formerly hung together in  the King's Painting Gallery and provided the whole atmosphere with a rather rich and melodic balance.

The next room, King Luis' bedroom,  displayed a majestic contemporary woollen and cotton tapestry by Joana de Vasconcelos, named "Vitrail" (2012) contrasting with and yet complementing the 1814 ceiling where Peace can be seen surrounded by the various Arts (Music, Poetry, Architecture, Sculpture, Painting, Drawing, Geometry and Astronomy) dancing hand-in-hand.

In the intimacy of this once Blue Room, whose silk covered walls' colour has since faded, one could see "Imari" and "Esther" (2012) attentively lying on two small round tables. Lace covering glazed faience objects was once more the chosen material by the artist in an a clear display of the typical Portuguese artistry. Although I don't personally find snakes charming creatures I must confess they charmed many of the youngsters watching the exhibition, as I watched them in almost absolute ecstasy.

I was a lot more impressed with "Amelia" (2012) making her way through the Oak Room once used as a smoking room and a specific place for men to socialise. 

Decorated with alabaster given to the Portuguese King by the Viceroy of Egypt, the winter garden known as the Marble Room was impressive and original enough for us to play close attention to the equally  outstanding original artistic pieces displayed in it -  two complex assembled artistic units tree or bush-like in their appearance called "Full steam ahead - Green and Red" (2013) made of steam irons with an activated mechanism that actually made them move up and downwards in synchronism till clouds of steam could be seen.

I was taken by the profusely decorated stuccoed ceiling of the Pink Room, an antechamber of the Queen's private quarters. I don't know if it was because of the ornaments in gilt relief or the paintings of birds and flowers or even the softness with which it mingled with the rose colour of the room walls. 

In it "Alorna" (2013) looked just a mere piece among the many small porcelain figures to be seen everywhere, most of which said to have been made at the Royal Porcelain Factory of Meissen. Had Dona Maria Pia had the opportunity of seeing her exquisite lace cover and I am sure Alorna would have easily become the fondest one of her collection.

(To be continued)

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