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Calouste Gulbenkian Museum - Founder's Collection

8,442 Reviews

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum - Founder's Collection

8,442 Reviews
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Avenida de Berna 45A, Lisbon 1067-001 Portugal
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Sail into the sunset for fantastic views of Lisbon while you sip on local wine and listen to live commentary with this sailng cruise. You'll start at Belem, passing by the Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery, the Ajuda National Palace, and Commerce Square, learning about the Portuguese capital as you go.
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Vadim wrote a review Dec. 2020
Murmansk, Russia19,775 contributions2,471 helpful votes
+1
Despite Vasco da Gama's breakthrough journey, Portugal was unable to establish either a large colonial empire (with the exception of Brazil) or expand its holdings in Europe. Accordingly, the royal dynasty did not have the extra money to buy art collections in Europe as did the Spanish, French, British, Austrian and Russian ones. That is why, private collections in Lisbon are more important than public (nationalized ex-royal). However, it doesn`t explain the appearance of the Galust Gulbekyan collection here. This is a historical accident. A native of the Armenian diaspora of Ottoman Istanbul, he created one of the largest private collections in the world in the Middle East oil trade. Gulbekyan eventually becomes Shell's largest shareholder with a 5% stake, earning the nickname "Mr. Five Percent". However, the lira and pounds (he eventually becomes a subject of the United Kingdom) didn`t obscure his desire for beauty. Gulbekyan collected everything: Dutch paintings, Iranian carpets, Japanese prints.The main thing is that he likes it himself. Therefore, all this is a projection of Gulbekyan himself. Moving from exhibit to exhibit on the creaking floors, you need to understand what prompted "Mr. Five Percent" to fork out for this particular thing. Of course, the most interesting is the collection of Western European paintings. Paintings from the Leningrad Hermitage, sold by the Soviet government to finance industrialization, became the basis of the collection. Gulbekyan, who traded oil with the USSR through his company Iraq Petroleum Company, tried to buy the main masterpieces bought in the XVIII century by Catherine II:" Judith " by Giorgione," The Return of the Prodigal Son "by Rembrandt and" Perseus and Andromeda " by Rubens.The deal did not take place and fortunately for the Hermitage, the paintings remained in the museum. However, Gulbekyan was able to buy the "Annunciation" by Dirck Bouts (54 thousand pounds), the innovative work of J.-A. Houdon "Diana" for 20 thousand pounds , "Portrait of an Old Man" by Rembrandt for 30 thousand. Some purchased as works by the artists themselves, such as Rembrandt's "Pallas Athena", were attributed as works by students or not by them at all. What to do: business is business...In addition, the oil magnate bought works of art wherever he could. Dutch and Flemish paintings are represented not only by Rembrandt but also by Frans Hals, Ruisdael, Rubens, Van Dyck. Decoration collection of paintings and sculptures by Domenico Ghirlandaio, Rodin, Renoir, Vittore Carpaccio, George Romney, Stefan Lochner, Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, Henri Fantin-Latour, Jean-François Millet, Thomas Gainsborough, Turner, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Boucher. Impressionists are represented by Corot, Claude Monet, Degas, Édouard Manet. The museum is good not only inside, but also outside. A walk through the garden is very appropriate after viewing the collection. It allows you to put your emotions in order.
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Date of experience: January 2020
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LuizDutraNeto wrote a review Dec. 2020
Rio de Janeiro, RJ8,501 contributions1,516 helpful votes
Mr. Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian (1869-1955) was a British-Armenian businessman and played a major role in the early oil indutry, becoming one of the world wealthiest tycoons. Along the years, Mr. Gulbenkian acquired one of the most fascinating art collections ever seen, with over 6,000 items. He chose Lisbon as home and his private collection can be visited at the "Calouste Gulbenkian Museum - Founder's Collection". Take your time and stroll along the museum and Mr. Gulbenkian's collection - artworks from ancient Egypt, Greece, Italy, Mesopotamia, Armenia, the Far East and so on. One last remark, his collection of French acclaimed artist René Lalique is unique for quality and quantity! Unmissable! Enjoy!
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Date of experience: January 2020
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Jacqui R wrote a review Nov. 2020
Oxford, United Kingdom75 contributions
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My daughter and I so enjoyed the space and the pieces on display. Especially the Rene Lalique exhibition! Such a genius of his age! Mr Gulbenkian an Armenian, who opened up Syria to the West in terms of oil trade, definitely had an eye for beautiful things. Explore his collection of Japanese snuff boxes, Chinese ceramics , silver tureens, wall hangings from Istanbul and Rocco furniture from Paris...to name but a few...
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Date of experience: November 2020
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Jimbobthegob R wrote a review Oct. 2020
3 contributions1 helpful vote
CLOSED till 2022 other part and gardens open but modern art museum closed review refers to precious visit
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Date of experience: October 2020
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Iolanda Guerra e Andrade wrote a review Sep. 2020
Lisbon, Portugal1,669 contributions81 helpful votes
+1
The permanent collection pertaining to Calouste Gulbenkian is definitely valuable and worth being visited. The rooms displaying articrafts from Egypt, Persia and Turkey, as well as the Oriental room and the apparently small room entirely dedicated to René Lalique are an absolute must, not to mention the ones dedicated to painting. Whether one is an Art lover or not I'm sure one will be impressed if one allows those artifacts to speak for themselves as one strolls along those exhibit rooms.
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Date of experience: August 2020
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