Tuesday, 9 August 2016

The National Palace of Mafra - The South Wing - King Pedro V Room; the Music Room; The Games Room; the Hunting Room; the Antechamber of the Library and the Library - The 7th of August 2016


On one of the walls of what used to be known as the Waiting Room one could see an equestrian portrait depicting the King.

The Music Room  also known as the Reception Room is where the Royal family used to receive their guests.

The Games Room is believed to have been where the Royal family spent most of their past times playing cards, spinning tops an billiards among other games.

The Hunting room mostly decorated with hunting trophies on its walls was quite interesting particularly because the 19th century furniture also made extensive use of deerskin and antlers.

Along the corridor towards the Library Antechamber I came across a Modern Art temporary exhibition, of which I took two photos (details of two paintings).

Mouvances de la Mémoire - 1984 oil on canvas by Cargaleiro (left). Self-portrait crucified - 19956 oil on wood by Albuquerque Mendes (right).

Just outside the Library a rather interesting  oil on wood painting caught my attention - Brother Martinho of Santa Maria or of Arrábida  by an unknown 18th century artist.

The Library which occupies the noblest of all the Palace's building was simply mesmerising . Its floor paved with limestone of different colours, with a dome in the centre supported by four arches and crowned with a marble stone on which a human face is carved to represent the sun.
The Library is said to have close to 30,000 volumes on its rococo shelves ranging from the 15th to the 19th centuries, covering topics as diverse as Civil Law, History, Geography, Medicine etc. Noteworthy among them are rare works such as a collection of incunabula including Cicero's Orationes and the Homeri Opera Omnia, but also a collection of Bibles and manuscripts and 750 prohibited works under the Churc order.

I was really impressed and though we only had access to a few important works on display in glass show tables as I made my way out I was wondering how long it must have taken to have it thoroughly organised, once it started in 1809 using a system which is still in use today.

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