The National Museum of Ancient Art, known as MNAA contains a collection of over 40.000 items. It is considered to be the most visited museum in Lisbon, and it is located in the renovated palace from the 17th century - Palacio Alvor-Pombal. The palace is a great example of construction from that time, with simple look with decorative baroque openings. Some ceilings in the palaces were painted by the Florentine artist Vincenzo Bacherelli, while in the middle of the 18th century the ceilings were the work of Giovanni Grossi who gave unusual decorations. The palace was renovated over time, it was given new premises to meet all the requirements of the museum.
In the first half of the 20th century, a western annex was added to the building, while a section serving as an auditorium, library and printing house was added to the eastern wing (between 1942 and 1947). Architect Joao de Almeida worked on the renovation of the building in 1983 and from 1992 to 1994, adding a slightly more modern look to it. This renovation enabled new premises, expanded the premises that were used for administration and technical support.
The museum contains a collection of paintings, sculptures, furniture, golden vessels, textiles, ceramics, etc. It includes African, Asian, European and American art and many works of art signed by art greats Hieronimus Bosch, Raphael, Hans Holbein the Elder, Francisco de Zurbaran, Albrecht Dürer.
It was founded in 1884 for the purpose of displaying the collections of the Portuguese royal family and the National Academy of Fine Arts. It is the main museum in Portugal with a collection from the 12th to the 19th century.
The museum is divided into three floors and a ground floor. On the ground floor there are temporary exhibition galleries, a library and an auditorium, while on the first floor of the museum there is Portuguese furniture, European decorative art and European painting. The Tecto Pintado room is intended for temporary exhibitions. On the first floor you can see works of art by Pieter de Hooch, Albrecht Dürer, Andrea della Robbie, Rafael Sanzio and furniture by Pierre Bernard. When you go up to the second floor, you will encounter art from Portuguese discoveries, furniture from Goa and Macau. Each gallery carries a title, pottery, gold and silver accessories and jewelry.
On the second floor, there is a golden Belem Monstrance, ordered for the Jeronimos monastery, which Vasco da Gama brought from Africa.
Going to the third floor, you will have an encounter with the art of Portugal, which includes painting and sculptures. You can see drawings, furniture, textiles. They are mostly works of Portuguese art, but you can also see some foreign artists.
The museum also displays oriental art that refers to works of art from India, Japan, China, etc.
All the collections in the museum are of great importance to Portugal and represent a national treasure.
Ticket price for the National Museum of Ancient Art
Regular ticket price 6 euros
Reduced ticket price 3 euros - for students and pensioners
Free entrance for children up to 12 years
Working hours of the National Museum of Ancient Art
from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m to 6 p.m
Author of the text:
Maja Glavaš, Bachelor with Honours in Communicology. Works in Tourism.
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