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From the Tagus to the Tiber: Portuguese musicians and artists in Rome in the 18th century

 

 

February 28th to May 31st, 2019 | Lisbon | Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal (Mezzanine) | 2ª - 6ª 09:30-19:30 | Saturday 09:30-17:30
 
 
 
Abstract
The fascinating process of assimilation and adaptation of Italian artistic and musical models by the Lisbon court throughout the 18th century is one of the most relevant phenomena of the Portuguese cultural history, with repercussions that extend to most of the territory. Through the works preserved in the National Library of Portugal, this exhibition aims to present to the general public how this fruitful creative association between the most Western country in Europe and the Italian peninsula, heart of the Mediterranean, has been undertaken. The itinerary of the exhibition will focus on transversal regards on music and the visual arts, two fields that are often addressed separately but share common paths.

From the 16th century, Rome began to attract artists from all fields, eager to learn from the legacy of its ruins and the modern masters who turned the Eternal City into the artistic centre of Europe. At the same time, travellers from the northern countries also arrived in Rome with the same zeal for learning, both from a mundane and cultural point of view. This movement gave rise to the phenomenon of the Grand Tour, which would have its outbreak in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Portugal had a golden age in the 18th century thanks to the fabulous artistic and musical commissions done by King John V, the Magnanimous King. Although the earthquake of 1755 eclipsed a large part of the architectural and artistic legacy of the first half of the century, the magnificence and cosmopolitanism of Lisbon left marks that prevailed as signs of identity in the following decades. Considering the travelling perspective and the artistic and musical exchanges, the set of pieces selected for the exhibition intends to show how the relations between Portugal and Italy, centred on a continuous flow of people, books, scores and works of art, created a rich path of communication between Rome and Lisbon. In this route and cultural exchange stand out musicians like António Teixeira, João Rodrigues Esteves and Francisco António de Almeida and visual artists like Francisco Vieira Lusitano, José de Almeida and Inácio Oliveira Bernardes, among others, but also diplomats, cardinals and other personalities from the political, ecclesiastical and cultural circles of the time.

In parallel with the exhibition will be held at the National Library of Lisbon the international congress Rome and Lisbon in the eighteenth century: music, visual arts and cultural transfers (March, 28-29), organized by the research group “Historical and Cultural Studies in Music” from INET-md (NOVA FCSH) and the Department of Art History of UNED (Madrid), as well as a series of guided tours, associated with musical programs. 

An harpsichord recital that celebrates the 300th anniversary of the arrival of Domenico Scarlatti in Lisbon, by Fernando Miguel Jalôto (March 19), and a program focusing on Francisco António de Almeida’s music, performed by the Músicos do Tejo, directed by Marcos Magalhães and Marta Araújo (date to be announced), are also part of the activities linked to the exhibition.

 

 

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