As part of the France-Portugal 2022 Season program of cultural exchanges celebrating the close friendship between the two countries, LVMH is providing support for “The Golden Age of the Portuguese Renaissance” exhibition as a member of the sponsor committee. The exhibition, which runs until October 10 at the Louvre, gives visitors a chance to discover the secrets and refinement of Portuguese painting during the Renaissance.
Curated by Charlotte Chastel-Rousseau, curator from the Musée du Louvre Department of Paintings, and Joaquim Oliveira Caeteno, director of the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon, the exhibition presents some 13 painted panels on loan from the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga.
The paintings reveal the elegant links between the pictorial inventions of the Italian Renaissance and innovations from Flemish painters. It opens with works by the first great Portuguese painter, Nuno Gonçalves (active 1450-before 1492), and continues with works by artists including Jorge Afonso (active 1504-1540), Cristovão de Figueiredo (active 1515-1554) and Gregorio Lopes (active 1513-1550).
The Portuguese school of painting made a name for itself from the mid-15th century with the coming of Flemish painters such as Jan Van Eyck, Francisco Henriques and the Master of Lourinhã. After Nuno Gonçalves, a group of painters around Jorge Afonso adopted an extremely refined oil painting technique, along with a new taste for landscapes and the decorative effects of fabrics and precious materials.
Thanks to the patronage of kings Manuel I (1495-1521) and João III (1521-1557), Portuguese painting experienced a golden age in the first half of the 16th century before being eclipsed by the crisis of the succession of the crown in 1580 and the annexation of Portugal by Spain.
After the founding exhibition “Portuguese Art in the Age of the Great Discoveries of the 20th Century” in 1930 at the Jeu de Paume in Paris, subsequent exhibitions did not focus on this privileged period of the Portuguese Renaissance.
This Season of exchanges, which takes place during France’s presidency of the Council of the European Union, underscores the close links between France and Portugal with a program celebrating Culture in Europe and more than 480 co-constructed projects until 31 October 2022.