The biggest pleasure of a visit to the Museu Gulbenkian is the chance it offers to compare and contrast pieces of art from so many places in the world and from so many different periods of history. The diverse collection ranges from ancient Egyptian sculptures to twentieth-century Lalique jewellery, via works by heavyweights such as Manet, Monet, Renoir, Turner and Rembrandt.

You start off in the small Egyptian room displaying art from the Old Empire (c.2700 BC) up to the Roman era, followed by the Greco-Roman room which features beautifully preserved glassware, jewellery and coins. Then move to the Eastern Islamic arts section with its Turkish tiles, mosque lamps, sumptuously illustrated manuscripts and fine carpets, while art from the Far East includes Chinese porcelain and stunning fourteenth-century lacquerwork from Japan.

The highlight, however, is the painting collection – a kind of romp through some of the best art from the European schools, including Flemish masters from the fifteenth century, Rubens’ graphic The Love of the Centaurs (1635) and eighteenth-century works by Fragonard, Francesco Guardi and Gainsborough – in particular the stunning Portrait of Mrs Lowndes-Stone. The big names of nineteenth- to twentieth-century France (Degas, Millet) are all represented, as are Sargent and Turner: don’t miss the latter’s vivid Wreck of a Transport Ship (1810).

Leave time, too, to explore the Sèvres porcelain, Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture and assorted Italian tapestries and textiles. The final room features the amazing Art Nouveau jewellery of René Lalique (1860–1945); the highlight is the fantastical Peitoral-libélula (Dragonfly breastpiece) brooch, half-woman, half-dragonfly, decorated with enamel work, gold, diamonds and moonstones.

 

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Portugal features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The spirit of fado in Lisbon

The spirit of fado in Lisbon

An intrinsic element of musical tradition in Portugal – fado is a form of melancholic song that characterises the heart of Portuguese culture. Sarah Gilbert v…

25 Jul 2018 • Sarah Gilbert insert_drive_file Article
6 reasons why you should visit Portugal in 2018

6 reasons why you should visit Portugal in 2018

Portugal is less than three hours’ flight time from the UK, while flights from the US are generally available for under $500. Moreover, once you get there, it…

04 May 2018 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
Your Portugal itinerary: 4 road trip ideas to explore the country

Your Portugal itinerary: 4 road trip ideas to explore the country

Portugal is having a real purple patch right now. It’s one of the safest and least expensive countries in Europe with a balmy year-round sunny climate. Your d…

03 May 2018 • Matthew Hancock insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs