National Museum of the Azulejo

The Museu Nacional do Azulejo (Portuguese for National Museum of the Azulejo), occasionally known in English as the National Tile Museum, is an art museum in Lisbon, Portugal dedicated to the azulejo, traditional tilework of Portugal and the former Portuguese Empire, as well as of other Iberophone cultures. Housed in the former Madre de Deus Convent, the museum's collection is one of the largest of ceramics in the world.

History

The National Tile Museum was established in 1965 and became a National Museum in 1980. It is located in the former Convent of Madre Deus, founded by Queen D. Leonor in 1509. The Museum went through different building campaigns that involved transformations such as in its 16th-century mannerist cloister; the church which is decorated with remarkable sets of paintings and tiles; the sacristy featuring a Brazilian wood display cabinet and carved wood frames with paintings; the high choir with rich carved gilt wood embellishments; the Chapel of Saint Anthony with an 18th-century Baroque decoration and a significant number of canvases by the painter André Gonçalves.

Collection

The museum collection features decorative ceramic tiles or azulejos from the second half of the 15th century to the present day. Besides tiles, it includes ceramics, porcelain and faience from the 19th to the 20th century. Its permanent exhibition starts with a display of the materials and techniques used for manufacturing tiles. After this the exhibition route follows a chronological order.

Permanent exhibition

The permanent exhibition of the museum is displayed in the rooms of ancient monastery and shows the history of tile heritage in Portugal from 16th century till the modern times. The church, the chapels of Saint Anthony and Queen Leonor, and the choir are parts of this exhibition as well.

Temporary exhibitions

A number of exhibitions are displayed in the museum for a certain period, as "The Art of Tiles in Portugal" in 2000, "Ana Vilela tells her stories about tiles" in 2008, "Me and the Museum" in 2016,"From the Shadows of Kyoto to the Light of Lisbon" in 2017.

See also

  • Madre de Deus Convent
  • List of museums in Portugal

External links

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Travel + Leisure
27 September 2013
What frescoes are to Italy, tiles, or azulejos, are to Portugal. East of Praça do Comercio, this museum is housed in a convent dating back to 1509. Don’t miss the tile panel of the city made in 1738.
Buford Barnes
22 June 2012
A 16th century convent and one of the most beautiful, converted to serve as a museum of ceramic tiles: a distinctive part of Portuguese culture, inherited from the Moors.
Pedro Pita
10 March 2017
Amazing museum in Lisbon, very beautiful catalog of Azulejos and a magnificent 18th century chapel in amazing state. This museum, as many in portugal is free of charge in the 1st Sunday of every month
Bogdan D.
9 July 2018
Although far from downtown and a little bit worn out, the museum is very distinctive for the Portugal culture. It boasts many azulejo treasures.Don’t miss the Lisboa panorama before the earthquake !
J
13 August 2017
Beautiful museum and a perfect place to learn about the different types of azulejos that you see everywhere in Portugal. Not super central but OK connections by bus.
Maria Fernanda Gonzalez
4 January 2016
Meu museu favorito em Lisboa! A capela é insana de tão linda, e eles têm um painel que retrata Lisboa antes do incêndio que é incrível! Pra ir, pegamos o ônibus 742 perto da estação Saldanha.
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Igreja Madre Deus, 1900-312 Lisboa, Portugal Get directions
Tue-Sun 10:00 AM–6:00 PM

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