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King José Room

This room’s name refers more than anything to the set of furniture characteristic of the reign of King José I (1750-1777), the monarch we see represented in a model of the equestrian statue produced between 1770 and 1775 by Joaquim Machado de Castro for Praça do Comércio in Lisbon. Particularly noteworthy is the pau-santo table with four different tops, the most elaborate of which is intended for ‘board’ games (chess, draughts and backgammon), enhanced with ivory inlays. The carvings of Rococo-style shell shapes connect harmoniously with the drawer handles, made of silver, a mark of the excellence of this piece of furniture. Another outstanding piece is the English-style (Chippendale) sofa in which the cut-outs and undulations of the carving transform the entire structure into an intricate piece of great virtuosity and delicacy. Above it sits a portrait of Elisabeth Farnese, queen of Spain and mother-in-law to King José, attributed to French painter Jean Ranc, who painted several members of the Portuguese royal family. On another wall we can identify two landscapes by another French artist, Jean Pillement, who was responsible for the development of that pictorial genre in Portugal, where he was active for many years, leaving among his disciples Joaquim Marques, who is also represented in this room. The two landscapes by Pillement flank a portrait presumed to be of Catarina Naudin de Arriaga with her daughter, by the Italian painter Guiseppe Troni, who also worked in Portugal in the 18th century.

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King José Room
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