Set of panels in the Game Room


National Azulejo Museum

National Azulejo Museum
Lisbon, Portugal

The set of six, two larger and six smaller panels came from the long-gone Praia Palace in Belém, Lisbon. They are now placed in the so-called Hunting Room, a space in the National Azulejo Museum where its founder, João Miguel dos Santos Simões, wished to recreate a 17th century ambience. In May 1962, when the then Azulejo Museum was an outpost of the National Museum of Ancient Art, these panels were already in this room, then called "Room of the Belém Azulejos". Given the ornamental motifs represented and the palette used these azulejos have great affinity with some that still decorate the Palace of the Counts of Calheta, also in Belém. They were most probably painted in the same as yet unidentified pottery in Lisbon. All the panels in this series show hunting scenes between animals, a central motif that is surrounded by vigorous scrolls and acanthus volutes, painted yellow and copper green, a colour used by the Lisbon potteries in the last years of 17th century polychromy, in a further effort to renew production. As a matter of fact we are here in the presence of extremely skilled examples of a period in the transition of taste, highlighting a proto-Baroque aesthetic that announces what were to be the major scenographies on ceramics of the first half of the 18th century. The iconographic source on which one of the panels in this set was based, where two dogs attack a bull, has been identified: it is engraving 18 of the Venationes Ferarum, Avium, Piscium series printed by Philippe Galle from drawings by Johannes Stradanus.


  • Title: Set of panels in the Game Room
  • Date Created: 1670/1680
  • Physical Location: MNAz, Museu Nacional do Azulejo, Lisbon, Portugal
  • Physical Dimensions: 166 cm x 157 cm; 166 cm x 517 cm; 165 cm x 151 cm; 165 cm x 157.5 cm; 166 cm x 517 cm; 165 cm x 157 cm;
  • Provenance: Palácio da Praia, Lisbon
  • Medium: Polychrome faience

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