The recent spate of sunny days makes it easier to forget the cold dark winter months. If you are looking for something to do when the weather turns again, think no further than Lisbon. It’s even on the same time zone as the UK and there are plenty of flights from Heathrow.
I have not previously been to Portugal and neither had Alessandra but it had come on my radar after a bit of research flagged up a few paintings to see. Well just 5 to be honest…
- Cranach – Salome with the Head of Saint John the Baptist – Museu National de Arte Antiga
- Durer – St Jerome in his Study – Museu National de Arte Antiga
- Piero della Francesca – St Augustine – Museu National de Arte Antiga
- Rapahel – A Miracle of St Eusebius of Cremona – Museu National de Arte Antiga
- Rogier van der Weyden – Heads of St Catherine & St Joseph – Caloust Gulbenkian Foundation
but we have no children and no commitments so we don’t really need a much by way of an excuse. It’s ideal for a weekend break.
I’ve added some images of the painting below and you could also add to this list the Temptation of St Anthony by Bosch which we had seen elsewhere.
The art many have been what drew us to Lisbon but the sun, great food, very drinkable wine and the small compact nature of the city really made it. It costs about 3 Euros for a trip on the 28 Tram. It’s hilly and going from one side of the City to the other is a real experience in this unusual (for us Brits at least) form of transport – it is certainly not something to be missed.
The very attractive Jerónimos Monastery pictured below is also well worth a visit and you can enjoy a nice stroll along the nearby waterfront afterwards.
Back to the art – it was great to see the Piero della Francesca because I’m drawn to sets and we had recently seen the other elements of the now dispersed altarpiece in the form of a ‘Unidentified Saint’ in the Frick Collection, ‘Saint Michael’ in London and ‘Saint Nicholas of Tolentino’ at the Poldi-Pezzoli Museum in Milan.
The Raphael Miracle of St. Eusebius of Cremona is quite small and not in great condition but had a special spot as it had been what originally made me look into going to Lisbon in the first place.
But the real highlights were the Salome and the Durer, though both are religious works they also have a quality more a kin to portraiture. St Jerome could so easily be a real old man, Salome a beautiful woman. There’s also a real sparsity to both works in terms of the relatively simplistic nature of what surrounds the main protagonists.
Go on and give it a try.