Image and Power

Known to all as the Holy Queen, Isabel of Aragon arrived in Portugal at the age of 12 to marry King Dinis and she succeeded in creating for herself an effective image of piety and power. This queen had the aura of a cultured, virtuous and holy woman, which endured over time and helps to explain the preservation of this rare set of pieces known as the “Treasure of the Holy Queen”: a reliquary, a pilgrim's staff, a processional cross, an image-reliquary of the Virgin and Child and a necklace. The purpose of this exhibition is to analyse the importance of these gold and silverware pieces, in both the Portuguese and the international context.
Side by side, two exceptional paintings — one from the workshop of Quentin Metsys, loaned to the museum by the Gemäldegalerie, in Berlin, and the other by Francisco de Zurbarán, from Museo del Prado, in Madrid — illustrate the process of the beatification (1516) and canonisation (1625) of the mythical queen of the Miracle of the Roses.

António Filipe Pimentel
Luísa Penalva