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  • MUSEU DOS BISCAINHOS

    Museu dos Biscainhos

    Guide

  • MUSEU DOS BISCAINHOS

    MUSEU DOS BISCAINHOS

    contentsCREDITS

    title

    Museu dos Biscainhos. Guide

    editorial coordinationMuseu dos BiscainhosTeresa de Almeida dEaInstituto dos Museus e da Conservao / Diviso de Documentao e Divulgao (Institute of Museums and Conservation / Documentation and Communication Unit)Clara Mineiro

    conception and textsTeresa de Almeida dEa

    CollaborationMargarida Sotto-Mayor Moreira

    TranslationPer Christopher Foster CRS Translations

    photography

    Instituto dos Museus e da Conservao / Diviso de Documentao Fotogrfica(Institute of Museums and Conservation / Photographic Documentation Unit)Coordinated byVitria MesquitaJos PessoaPhotographerJos Pessoa assisted by Carlos PomboArquivo de imagem do Museu dos Biscainhos (Museu dos Biscainhos Photographic Archive)PhotographersLuis Ferreira AlvesMiguel LouroJoo Paulo SottomayorJorge Barros

    graphic designStudio Andrew Howard

    pre-printing, printing and finishingGrfica Maiadouro

    publisher

    Instituto dos Museus e da ConservaoPalcio Nacional da Ajuda, Ala Sul, 4 Andar40-0 LISBONwww.ipmuseus.pt

    st EditionLisbon, July 007

    paper

    Gardapat 50 grModigliani Insize 45 gr

    fonts

    Benton SansGizaFFScala

    print run000 Exemplares

    isbn

    977768

    legal deposit0 907/05

    museu dos biscainhosRua dos Biscainhos, 4700-45 BRAGATel: 5 0 46 50Fax: 5 0 46 58E-mail: [email protected]: www.ipmuseus.pt

    acknowledgements

    The Museu dos Biscainhos would like to thank the following for their permission to re-produce the images contained in this Guide:Arquivo Distrital de Braga / Universidade do MinhoBiblioteca Nacional da Ajuda / Instituto Por-tugus do Patrimnio Arquitectnico Biblioteca de Arte da Fundao Calouste Gulbenkian.

    Introduction 6

    The Museum, History and Collectionss 0

    MUSEUM ToUR

    Lobby and Staircase 8

    Entrance Hall 4

    Great Hall 8

    Oratory 6

    Dais Room 4

    Music and Games Room 48

    Office 54

    Dining Room 58

    Cloister 64

    Private Chambers 68

    Slave and Servants Quarters 7

    Stables 76

    Kitchen 80

    Gardens 86

    Notes 96

    Bibliography 98

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    MUSEU DOS BISCAINHOS

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    MUSEU DOS BISCAINHOS

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    The Museu dos Biscainhos is housed

    in a distinguished property that

    consists of a building and its gardens

    constructed and enlarged during the

    7th and 8th centuries making it a

    significant testimony to the Baroque

    period and improved during the first

    half of the 9th. It therefore allows us a

    continued and synthesizing insight into

    the society and culture of the era for

    the whole period in question.

    From the middle of the nineteen

    eighties, the museum opted to place

    the chief emphasis of its museological

    work on researching and disseminating

    information about daily life during the

    ancien rgime, an era of remarkable

    importance for Portuguese history.

    This decision stemmed from a

    considered assessment of several factors:

    the relevant importance of the

    Baroque period for the Minho region

    and in particular for the city of Braga,

    the site of notable growth due to

    archiepiscopal power, in terms of a

    desired interrelationship between the

    museum and its surroundings;

    introduction

    LEFT

    Casa dos Biscainhos.Ink and wash drawing on paper. From Mappa das Ruas de Braga (Map of the Streets of Braga). 1750. Arquivo Distrital de Braga.

    the preservation of the original

    structure of the palace and gardens

    and the characterisation of this

    heritage, which extends artistically

    from the Baroque to the neoclassical

    and Empire;

    consistency in the articulation of

    the above points with the museums

    collections, namely, decorative arts,

    painting, sculpture and engravings

    dating from the centuries in question.

    The current contents of the museum

    are presented as an examination of the

    7th to early 9th centuries as reflected

    in the inner world and domestic privacy

    of a seigneurial house.

    Within the scope of the museums

    overall objective, the present guide

    provides a contextualized tour through

    the tastes, traditions, emotions, art,

    thought and life of Portuguese society

    during the period under analysis.

    Museu dos Biscainhos, 004.

    Teresa de Almeida dEa

    FoLLoWING PAGE

    MAPPA/(D)A/CIDADE/DE/BRAGA PRI/MAS. Circa 1755. Andr Ribeiro Soares da Silva (attrib.). IPPAR/Biblioteca da Ajuda.

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    MUSEU DOS BISCAINHOS

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    MUSEU DOS BISCAINHOS

    The Museum, history and collectionsThe contextfrom Roman empire to archiepiscopal fiefdom

    The city of Braga, whose roots lie deep

    in time, has a history going back two

    thousand years and predates the

    founding of the nation. It grew out of

    settlements inhabited by the Bracari

    who, at the end of the rd century BC,

    were subjugated by the power of the

    Roman Empire.

    Bracara Augusta, the Roman city,

    was elevated to the status of capital of

    the Roman province of Galecia in the

    rd century AD.

    Since that distant time, Christianity

    has woven the spiritual fabric of the

    city, whose first bishop was consecrat-

    ed in the year 400.

    There followed a string of invasions,

    by the Suevi, Visigoths and Arabs, the

    latter arriving at the beginning of the

    eighth century.

    In reaction to these successive

    attacks, efforts were made to revive

    Braga in the th century. In the

    following century, the Count and

    Countess Dom Henrique and Dona

    Teresa, in gratitude for the assistance

    provided during the struggle to found

    the nation, handed control of the city

    and its surroundings to the archbish-

    ops, who governed with absolute rule.

    Over the centuries, several notable

    figures have stood out for their role in

    influencing the shape of the city,

    particularly Archbishop Dom Diogo de

    Sousa, who, in the 6th century,

    imposed a new scale on the city that

    was simultaneously humanist and

    grandiose, instigating the beginning of

    a process of growth that has been

    continuous ever since.

    In national terms, the 8th century

    represented a period of substantial

    economic prosperity stemming from

    the gold, diamonds and agricultural

    goods brought from the Brazilian

    colony. In addition, the expansion of

    corn maize cultivation in Portugal

    afforded significant growth, especially

    in the northwest. In the mid-seventeen

    hundreds, Braga had a population of

    around 7,000, robust trade and

    significant industry, producing bells,

    sails, silk and damask, pieces of

    goldsmithery, tinsmithery and tanning.

    Cabinet-making, sculpture, carving and

    painting workshops proliferated.

    In the heart of the Minho, and Braga

    in particular, favourable conditions

    existed for the special development of

    art. Stimulated by the desire to serve

    God, the archbishops, wielders of great

    power, intensively fomented the

    different expressions that enlarged

    the city structure.

    The prelates favoured buildings of a

    religious nature, to which were added

    several seigneurial houses belonging to

    the northern nobility, giving the city a

    monumental character that the 7th

    and 8th centuries, the golden age of

    the Baroque, consolidated in richness

    and opulence.

    In 750, the cathedral chapter, in order

    to organise its vast built heritage,

    which included a significant part of

    Braga, conducted a series of surveys

    that today constitute, in global terms,

    a rare resource for understanding and

    interpreting life in an 8th century Eu-

    ropean city: the ndice dos Prazos das

    Casas do Cabido (Index of the Leases

    of the Houses in the Chapter) and the

    Mappa das Ruas de Braga (Map of

    the Streets of Braga) the latter of

    incalculable value for the study of soci-

    ology, urbanism, architecture and the

    history of art1 which documents the

    design of the facades of 4,064 houses

    existing at the time.

    Dating from around 755 is an-

    other document of great interest, the

    MAPPA (D)A CIDADE DE BRAGA PRI-

    MAS (MAP OF THE CITY OF BRAGA

    PRIMAS), attributed to Andr Soares.

    This is a highly detailed record of the

    urban layout and respective place

    names that identifies thirty places of

    worship, among them churches, chap-

    els, convents and seminaries, as well as

    public and private buildings.

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    house and Gardensnobility and splendour

    The Casa dos Biscainhos is located out-

    side the medieval walls of the city, in the

    street after which it is named3 and that

    connects two important urban areas:

    campo da Vinha and campo das Hortas.

    Dr. Constantino Ribeiro do Lago

    was one of the notable figures of the

    age in which he lived (69686). He

    married Maria de Sousa e Silva on st

    September 655.4

    Incio