April 2017 Travel to Western Spain and Portugal Part 4: Other Places to Visit No. 9 – The Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon

April 2017 western Spain and Portugal of the journey
April 2017 western Spain and Portugal of the journey

Date and time of visit: April 30, 2017, approximately 10 a.m.

This was the most impressive part of my visit to Lisbon. I was impressed by the huge collection of the Armenian oil tycoon.

Visit Lisbon’s first real museum

On my last day in Lisbon, I visited the Gulbenkian Museum. It was my second visit to Lisbon in 9 years, but I couldn’t appreciate museums at all at that time, especially museums focusing on paintings.

Gulbenkian was an Armenian from Istanbul who made a fortune as an oil tycoon and spent his last years in Lisbon. He was also famous as a collector of artworks, and after his death, his huge collection was donated to Portugal. This museum was established in 1969 with his collection.

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum: websiteはこちら

The museum is located on the grounds of the Gulbenkian Foundation, which manages the museum. The Gulbenkian Foundation owns not only the museum but also an orchestra and a ballet company. I didn’t know that such a foundation existed in Portugal. I’m very interested in it.

Modern Collection” featuring works by modern and contemporary artists

We first went to the “Modern Collection” building on the north side of the Foundation’s premises. There was a permanent exhibition (or was it a special exhibition?) of modern and contemporary artists related to Portugal. I wondered if it was a special exhibition.

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It was a large scale and there were many collections. I didn’t know about each work or artist in detail, but I was very satisfied with what I saw. The world of art is wide. I still need to study more. I’ve never studied it so much, so I’d like to do something about it.

The Founder’s Collection, a collection of Gulbenkian heritage

Next, we went to the “Fonder’s Collection” building. This building is located on the south side, a little far from the “Modern Collection” building we visited first.

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There is a lot of information about this place, and there are more people here than in the “Modern Collection”. I guess it’s because modern paintings are hard to understand.

I got in with the common ticket I bought at the “Modern Collection”. (Of course, when you first buy the ticket, you will be asked if you want to go to the Fonder’s Collection as well.

Now, anyway, this collection is so huge that I was really surprised that it is a private collection.

As you first pass through the entrance, you will be led to the archaeological collection of ancient Egypt, followed by a large room with a vast collection of Chinese and Islamic pottery and glasswork. The quantity and quality of this collection is incredible.

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The exhibition continues with a slightly dimly lit room filled with a vast array of religious paintings and reliefs from the medieval Baroque period.

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And you can also see works by Rubens and Rembrandt.

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次の絵はルーベンスの「Portrait of Helena Fourment」という作品ですが、ルーベンスの作品でこういうポートレートはあまり見かけたことがないかもしれない。

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This area is a space for furniture and paintings from the Baroque period.


The carvings were very extensive. It is wide range.

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The era progressed further to the Impressionist works of the 19th century. The collection included Renoir, Manet, and Monet.

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There were also many Japanese and Chinese collections.

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In the last corner, there are Art Nouveau related works. The collection of Lalique (there is one in Hakone, isn’t there?) is the main one, and they have a total of 169 exhibitions made between 1895 and 1937.

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It was an impressive collection, very attractive museum. It was definitely the most impressive part of my visit to Lisbon. I’ve been to many museums in Europe, but I thought this museum was one of the top 5 museums in terms of quality and interest. However, it is very large and has a lot of collections, so I recommend you to visit in the morning while it is not crowded and you have enough energy.

Full website.

By the way, the website of this museum is also very good. The explanation pages of the exhibited works are quite huge. And it is easy to see.

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WebSite is here:.

Discover | Founder’s Collection | Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

Discover | Modern Collection | Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

This can be very useful if you want to know what kind of works you can see in advance, or if you want to check out a painting you are interested in once you have finished viewing it.