Art from the Time of King Manuel I, five hundred years after his death

In 2021, five centuries will have passed since the death of King Manuel I. This King’s relationship with artistic practice was one of the most important in Portuguese history, not only due to the intensity with which he promoted, sponsored and commissioned works of architecture, illuminated manuscripts, painting, sculpture or decorative arts, but also because of the way he used artistic production in his strategy of royal representation and affirmation. The King was responsible for the introduction, in the royal administration, of structures dedicated to the management of his artistic and architectural projects, creating inspectorates and incorporating artists in that system, having them occupy particular positions that included functions of administration, management and diplomacy.

The production of this exhibition results of a collaboration between the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga (MNAA), the Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal and the Arquivo Nacional Torre do Tombo and it will be based around three relatively autonomous display nuclei: one of them – focused on King Manuel and the arts - under MNAA’s responsibility, will be curated by Joaquim O. Caetano; the nucleus supervised by the National Archive of Torre do Tombo will be essentially centred on the manuscript Leitura Nova of Manuel I of Portugal and on the reorganisation of archives at the time of the King. Its curators will be Maria José Azevedo and Rosa Bela Azevedo; the third nucleus, produced by the National Library and curated by Rui Loureiro, will be dedicated to the Manueline press and the effort to propagate, through publications, the Portuguese Discoveries across Europe.

Joaquim O. Caetano
Rosa Bela Azevedo
Rui Loureiro


Exhibition sponsored by

2019 Logos BPI Fundacao la Caixa