Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Figueira da Foz, Casa do Paço - 18th century glazed tiles from Delft (cont.) - The 6th of June 2015


The Biblical glazed tiles painted with manganese oxide covering the centre part of the walls, whose edges are covered by cobalt blue tiles of landscapes, were quite interesting in as much as their 63 scenes were divided in those pertaining to the Old Testament with 36 of the New Testament, all of which  are represented within a double circle with an ossenkop in every corner.

I didn't manage to photograph them all but amongst the ones I did manage to are those representing Jonas killing Absalaham, Jesus presenting himself to Mary Magdalene, Elias feeding the crows, the return of Jephthah, Judas' kiss, Abraham's sacrifice, Jesus curing a woman and a blind, the 3rd negation, Moses being found by the Pharaoh's daughter, St. Saul's conversion, the annunciation, the execution of St. John the Baptist, the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river, the circumcision, the sacrifice of Abel and Caim, Esther in the presence of King Ahasuerus, the flight to Egypt, Jesus being tempted in the desert, Jesus washing the Apostles' feet, David and Goliath, Hagar with Ismael in the desert, the whale vomiting Jonah onto dry land, etc.


Most of those Biblical scene glazed tiles were placed in a precinct that very much resembled a former chapel precinct with two side cupboard-like divisions.

Because of the interest we had shown throughout the visit we were exceptionally allowed to go up onto the second floor which despite not having been refurbished and clearly in need of being made available for the public, had typical Portuguese floral motifs glazed tiles on one of its walls. Its dome had visible seahorse fresco paintings encircling it with rather exquisite huge shells placed in its corners underneath. 

We carefully treaded up onto the open patio, which again is not open to the public, following the Museum guide who made this extra visits possible. The view over the Mondego fishing harbour was outstandingly beautiful.

We did particularly enjoy our morning, which was almost entirely spent at Casa do Paço, we both felt needs more  cultural "visibility", because not only has it witnessed several different cultural manifestations in the past with the diverse structural changes it had to go through but also and mainly because it deserves being recognised as the site that houses one of the largest collections of Dutch glazed tiles in the world.


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