Grão Vasco Museum

Grão Vasco Museum

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The Grão Vasco Museum is an art museum located in the city of Viseu
Viseu
Viseu is both a city and a municipality in the Dão-Lafões Subregion of Centro Region, Portugal. The municipality, with an area of 507.1 km², has a population of 99,593 , and the city proper has 47,250...

, in Portugal
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

. The museum is named after one of the most important Portuguese painters of the Renaissance
Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, Vasco Fernandes
Vasco Fernandes
Vasco Fernandes , better known as Grão Vasco, was one of the main Portuguese Renaissance painters.Vasco Fernandes was probably born in Viseu, in Northern Portugal, where he began his career in the team of painters executing the main altarpiece of Viseu Cathedral . Between 1506 and 1511 he painted...

 (also known as the Grão Vasco), who had his workshop in Viseu.

The museum, founded in 1916, occupies the building of the old Seminary
Seminary
A seminary, theological college, or divinity school is an institution of secondary or post-secondary education for educating students in theology, generally to prepare them for ordination as clergy or for other ministry...

, located beside Viseu Cathedral
Viseu Cathedral
Viseu Cathedral is the bishopric seat of the city of Viseu, in Portugal. The church started being built in the 12th century and is the most important historical monument of the town...

. The building, began in the late 16th century in Mannerist style, has had its interior recently modernised by Porto
Porto
Porto , also known as Oporto in English, is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the major urban areas in the Iberian Peninsula. Its administrative limits include a population of 237,559 inhabitants distributed within 15 civil parishes...

 architect Eduardo Souto de Moura
Eduardo Souto de Moura
-Life and career:Souto de Moura was born in Porto, and studied sculpture before switching to architecture at the School of Fine Arts of the University of Porto, the current FAUP - Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto, and receiving his degree in 1980. From 1974 to 1979 he worked with...

.

The main exhibits of the museum are the painted altarpiece
Altarpiece
An altarpiece is a picture or relief representing a religious subject and suspended in a frame behind the altar of a church. The altarpiece is often made up of two or more separate panels created using a technique known as panel painting. It is then called a diptych, triptych or polyptych for two,...

s executed for Viseu Cathedral during the Renaissance. These include the main altarpiece, executed by a workshop that included the young Vasco Fernandes and was apparently led by Francisco Henriques
Francisco Henriques
Francisco Henriques was a Flemish Renaissance painter active in Portugal in the early 16th century.Around the year 1500 Francisco Henriques came to Portugal from Bruges, where he may have been a disciple of Gerard David...

, as well as later altarpieces by a mature Vasco Fernandes and his collaborator, Gaspar Vaz. The artistic significance of these altarpieces turn the Grão Vasco Museum into one of the most important
art museums in Portugal.

The collections also include metalwork, tapestry
Tapestry
Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven on a vertical loom, however it can also be woven on a floor loom as well. It is composed of two sets of interlaced threads, those running parallel to the length and those parallel to the width ; the warp threads are set up under tension on a...

 and sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

.

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