The National Museum of Ancient Art enjoys the reputation of sheltering the largest collection of paintings, at least nationwide speaking. In this respect, highlights refer to works by Durer and Raphael, and to Bosch’s Temptation of St. Anthony, and the 12 Apostles by Zurbaran, comprised in the overall collection which covers the history of European art from the 14th to the 20th century. Velázquez, Poussin, and Courbet are also duly represented here. The Veneration of St. Vincent is the most prized painting of Portuguese origin, a work which, amongst others, renders the figure of Henry the Navigator.

But the fine art works aside, visitors are advised to also check out the decorative and applied arts collections. The most notable highlights are as follows: the Monstrance of Belem, which is related to the name of Vasco da Gama and to his trips to India (it was built of the gold brought by the celebrated explorer from India), the collection of French silverware, which dates back to the 18th century (which comprises valuable works by Francois Thomas Germain), the cross from Alcobaca, a 15th century polyptych brought from the Monastery of Saint Vincent (allegedly designed and created by Nuno Goncalves).

Obviously, the mission of the National Museum of Ancient Art is to provide a comprehensive picture of the development of the Portuguese art in the wider context of the European trends, as well as to offer an idea about the mutual cultural and artistic influences between Portugal and sundry exotic cultural spaces (China and Japan, Africa and India) in the age of geographical discoveries.

Holders of a Lisbon Card can enter for free at the National Museum of Ancient Art of Lisbon.

National Museum of Ancient Art (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga)
95, Rua das Janelas, Lisbon, Portugal
00351 213 912800
00351 213 973703
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