King João V Room
The name of this room comes from the portrait of King João V, one of the most extravagant Portuguese monarchs, who reigned between 1706 and 1750. The economic fluidity experienced during that period, largely thanks to Brazilian gold, allowed for the hiring of foreign artists, such as the French painter Pierre-Antoine Quillard, to whom the monarch’s portrait is attributed. The elevated position of royal painter was, after his death, held by Vieira Lusitano, an artist trained in Rome who created the Saint Peter and Saint Paul Preaching displayed here.
The group of secular silverwork provides a sample of Portuguese production between the Baroque and Rococo periods. A highlight among these is a pyramid-shaped salt and pepper shaker, thought to have been made by João Frederico Ludovice, a master silversmith of Germanic origin who became an architect and artistic adviser to King João V, with a prominent role in the construction of Mafra Convent.
The furniture was almost entirely produced during the reign of King José I (1750-1777), the first son of King João V, and includes an impressive commode desk in richly carved pau-santo. More sober but no less interesting is the chest of drawers, also in pau-santo, with slight undulations (front and sides) and original silver fittings, a mark of the excellence of this piece of furniture.