Spanning a period from the 12th to the 19th century there are works that are remarkable both for the originality shown in their creation and for the ingenious solutions that they display, resulting either from the interpretation of foreign models or from the confrontation with non-European cultures. Together, they reflect the different periods and circumstances that make up eight centuries of Portuguese history and culture.
The museum houses the permanent exhibition of Portuguese art, or, more precisely, the art that was produced as a consequence of Portugal’s expansion around the World.
On the ground floor, together with the convent’s former chapel, visitors will find the exhibition of Furniture; on the first floor are the collections of Gold and Silverware, Jewellery, Ceramics and Oriental Arts, resulting from the overseas voyages undertaken by the Portuguese; and on the second floor are to be found the collections of Portuguese Painting and Sculpture.
The ground floor of the main building leads directly into the rooms of the first floor of the Palácio Alvor, where the museum’s sections of European Painting and Decorative Arts are exhibited. The ample central staircase leads down to the temporary exhibition rooms, the library, the restaurant and the beautiful garden overlooking the River Tagus.
This is the essential nature of the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, which is indelibly inscribed in its collections: the many different and highly expressive crossovers between disciplines – Paintings, Sculpture, Drawings, Engravings, Gold, Silverware and Jewellery, Textiles, Furniture, Ceramics and Glassware – and the establishment of an extremely rich dialogue between cultures, between Portugal, Europe, the Orient and the World.
Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga
In 1884, the public exhibition of the State collections began in the building of the Palácio Alvor, in Rua das Janelas Verdes, a relationship that left such a deep impression that the museum is still frequently referred to today by the name of Museu das Janelas Verdes.
The highly individual evolution that the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga has undergone since 1834 has naturally had a decisive influence on the character of its collection.
In 1911, with readjustments to its collection and premises, the museum adopted its present-day name – Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga – and essentially acquired the appearance that is still visible today.
The museum on google maps: