YOU CAN WATCH THIS PRESENTATION IN MUSIC HERE:
PLEASE SEE ALSO:
Gulbenkian seemed to be especially fond of the ceramics of the Asia Minor city of Iznik, ancient Nicaea. The museum displays faultlessly beautiful specimens of three characteristic types from this center: late 15th-century ware exclusively in blue and white; early 16th-century ware, to which are added turquoise, sage green, manganese purple and black; and finally, mid-16th-century faience pieces with the famous tomato-red color called bol d'Arménie, applied so thickly that it created a high relief
In his last will Calouste Gulbenkian bequeathed the Portuguese state with his fortune and his large collection of artwork.
In 1956, one year after his death, the Gulbenkian Foundation was created which according to his will, supports the arts, science, education and social welfare. Today the foundation supports a large number of cultural projects and cultural centers and it organizes activities and temporary exhibitions.
The foundation is headquartered in a modern complex set in a lush garden. It has a large library, an open air auditorium and two museums: the Gulbenkian Museum and the Modern Art Centre, which opened in 1983.
Gulbenkian's collection of ancient art is housed in a modern purpose-built museum from 1969, with ample space to display the collection without overwhelming the visitors.
Most of the about 3,000 pieces of art were collected by Gulbenkian himself, who had an excellent taste. The art, which ranges from tapestry, ceramics, jewelry and glassware to paintings, sculpture and furniture is displayed in spacious well lighted rooms and divided into two circuits.
The first one is devoted to Egyptian art, Classical art and objects from the Middle and Far East. Highlights include Egyptian scarabs, a Greek Vase, Roman jewelry, Assyrian bas-reliefs, Persian tapestries, Chinese porcelain and Japanese paintings.
The second circuit shows European art, with an emphasis on French decorative arts.
Of note are the medieval illuminated books, a collection of paintings from Flemish, Italian and French masters, and a collection of 18th century French furniture, of which Gulbenkian was particularly fond. A whole room is dedicated to the Art Nouveau jewelry of René Lalique, a designer who created jewels that were often inlaid with precious stones and decorated with gold or enamel.