Monday, 25 July 2016

My two day trip to Figueira da Foz - Day 1 (afternoon) - Santos Rocha Municipal Museum - The 23rd of July 2016

In the early afternoon we decided to visit the local Museum, which I had been to many years ago and which my brother had never visited. Upon strolling around the Abadias public gardens we came across a few artistic sculptures spread along them, which we soon realised to pertain to a temporary exhibition because of a placard mentioning it.

Some of the sculptures were quite interesting, but I personally felt I would have liked to associate them to names -  the names of the artists who had actually made them, but there wasn't any indication whatsoever, so for the sake of future remembrance I'll just write down the names of the artists said to have participated in the venue "Encontros com a Arte Pública" - Abílio Febra, Beatriz Cunha, Carlos Andrade, Filipe Curado, Francisco Lucena, Gbriel Seixas, Jose´Plácido, Laranjeira Santos, Mário Nunes and Melício.

Mural painting by Luis Soares

Once inside the Museum we were pleasantly surprised to come across a few rather beautiful and valuable artefacts, I didn't recall having been there when I had visited the galleries before. Among the things we fell in love with were 19th century Indo-Portuguese furniture sets, 17th century chests of drawers and 18th century tables,  a 9,15 metre by 3,59 metre tapestry dating back to 1776, religious stone and clay sculptures made by mostly unknown artists, votive wooden paintings and even a few rather interesting objects from the former Portuguese colonies. 

Carriage used to transport a Portuguese Queen from the train station to the Peninsular casino.

I couldn't help photographing details of the  Indo-Portuguese wooden furniture pieces with ivory embedded motifs. Some of them were astonishingly beautiful.



What impressed me most regarding the early and late 18th century votive paintings was the fact that they were carried out for people and animals alike. One of those (unfortunately the photo taken with the mobile phone didn't come out well enough to be published) mentioned the devotion a landowner had for a particular Saint whom she asked for her pig to get better.

16th century limestone sculpture of The Eternal Father accredited as having been made by João de Ruão (left). 17th century limestone Mannerist sculpture depicting the Holy Trinity (right).

18th century Baroque polychrome wooden sculpture depicting either a Holy Bishop or Saint Martin.

17th century oil on wood altarpiece - Eternal Father in the course of blessing.

16th century Coimbra influenced Renaissance limestone altarpiece element depicting the Eternal Father.

16th century Gothic limestone sculpture depicting Saint Eulália or Olaia.

14th century Gothic limestone sculpture depicting the Calvary.

15th century Gothic limestone sculpture attributed to João Afonso depicting Our Lady with the child.

14th century limestone sculpture portraying Mary Magdalen which has been attributed to Master Pêro (left). 15th century Gothic limestone sculpture depicting the Holy Mothers (right).

Artefacts from Angola, Congo and Timor.
Despite not being into Modern Art I nevertheless visited the temporary exhibition - "Light, Matter and Movement" by a group of Spanish artists entitled Pegamento, as well as an equally temporary photo exhibition "India within us" by Alexandra Oliveira and Chuva Vasco.


Mixed technique on wood -  "Pegamento Planet" by Fabián Sambola

Had it not been for Santos Rocha who in 1894 founded a small Museum to house the valuable artefacts he had collected and what is now available for the local people and other visitors to see wouldn't be possible.

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