Soares dos Reis National Museum

Porto, Portugal

Soares dos Reis National Museum is the first Portuguese national museum exhibiting collections of Portuguese art, including a collection by Portuguese sculptor António Soares dos Reis, from which the museum derives its name.

The museum was founded in 1833 as Museum Portuense by King Peter IV. Initially it was housed in the Convent of Santo António (in the centre of Porto), exhibiting religious art confiscated from Portuguese convents, and those works of art expropriated from the absolutist followers of Miguel I (who had struggled against Peter IV a year before).

During the 19th century the museum made several acquisitions that were integrated into the main collection.

But, it was in 1911 that the museum obtained its collection of work by Soares dos Reis, a celebrated Portuense sculptor, taking on the name of its benefactor.

In 1942 the museum was transferred from the centre of the city to the former-residence of the Moraes e Castro family, known commonly as the Carrancas (which means scowlers/frowners, a passing reference to the disapproving nature of its members). The large building provided the spaces and conditions to store and exhibit the collections. Over time, the spaces were expanded and modernised under a project by architect Fernando Távora.

Collections

The museum has a vast collection mainly focused on Portuguese art of the 19th and 20th centuries, including painting, sculpture, furniture, metalwork and ceramics.

Artists represented include painters Domingos Sequeira, Vieira Portuense, Augusto Roquemont, Miguel Ângelo Lupi, António Carvalho de Silva Porto, Marques de Oliveira, Henrique Pousão, Aurélia de Souza, Dórdio Gomes, Júlio Resende and sculptors Soares do Reis, Augusto Santo, António Teixeira Lopes, Rodolfo Pinto do Couto and many others.

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Details

Founded: 1833
Category: Museums in Portugal

Rating

4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Jana Mensink (6 months ago)
A place that history lovers shouldn’t miss out on.
Istvan Szajko (10 months ago)
The Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis was the country’s first public art museum. Founded in 1833 under the aegis of Liberalism, it was created to receive the confiscated property of the dissolved monasteries both in Porto and those of S. Martinho de Tibães and Santa Cruz de Coimbra in its Episcopal See. The expoiliation occurred during the civil war in which the Liberals, led by the regent D. Pedro, Duke of Bragança, opposed the absolutism of D. Miguel.
Luis Guerra (11 months ago)
Not the best time to visit it although it is definitely worth a visit. Lots of room under refurbishment works.
Fw Glover (11 months ago)
A ceramic lover's delight. For those not fond of ceramics then this exhibition may leave something lacking. A disappointing level of context to the pieces did allow for background stories to be created,which caused creative juices to flow. The 18th century furniture was surprisingly sturdy and able to take the weight of a full grown man.
Bilbo Baggins (12 months ago)
Most underwhelming museum ever. Poor and very few exhibits and everything is kinda run down. The review doesn't account for the fact that when we visited a whole floor was closed off. The building that houses the museum is quite nice but the gardens were poorly kept. The museum shop was literally empty. The only merit is that we payed 1,50 entry each. Any amount over 5 euros to see this should be avoided.
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