When the rich and powerful Portuguese King Manuel I visit Spain, in the late 15th century, he became delighted by Seville-Moorish tiles, decided to bring this art to Portugal, and used them to decorate his Sintra Royal (today National) Palace. From that moment onward, tile production will be prolifically used in interiors and external facades of numerous buildings of a palatial, religious, residential, and even later, industrial nature.
The Discoveries Age period (16th-17th century) and the trade with Eastern Asia, particularly with China, will introduce in Europe the Blue and White porcelain style, soon copied and improved by Dutch and Portuguese artists. The Renaissance and Baroque period (17th-18th century) will give rise to a remarkable movement, with the “Cycle of the Masters”, combining the functional, low cost, and easy maintenance tile characteristics with rich, diverse, and exuberant scenic programs, that will establish Portugal as one of the nations with the highest number and quality of architectural projects using tiles as a primordial element. The earthquake of Lisbon (1755) and the subsequent city reconstruction, the European modern influences, the beginning of industrialization, or even the 20th-century Fascist ideology, will maintain tiles at the forefront of artistic production. Today, Portuguese contemporary architecture continues to use tiles as part of a permanent and uninterrupted cultural, aesthetic, and functional tradition for more than 500 years.
Led by an expert on Architecture and Art History, Tiago Miranda Neiva, this interactive seminar will present some of the best Portuguese examples of tile architectonic projects from the 16th to the 21st century, reflecting distinct origins, techniques, typologies, and historical periods. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with a better knowledge of the richness, quality, and variety of Portuguese Tiles and Architecture.
For travelers eager to learn more about Portuguese history and culture, we invite you to explore our additional conversations here.
About Your Expert
Tiago Miranda Neiva was born and raised in Lisbon. He studied architecture in Rome and worked later in distinct offices in Portugal and Spain. For several years he was Professor of Arts and Art History, having a Master's degree in Teaching of Visual Arts. He is currently working towards a PhD focused on the Art and Architecture of al-Andalus: the confluence between the Arab, Jewish and Christian medieval world. In recent years he has been working as a tour guide in his hometown, seeking to show and reveal its most intimate secrets through an authentic and passionate local vision.
This conversation is suitable for all ages.
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.
Loved the lecture. Tiago gave a great overview of the history of tiles in Portugal. I learned a lot even though I had watched another lecture on this before. Highly recommend!
Tiago gives great seminars with beautiful visuals. As an arts professional it was a treat to learn the history of Portugal through Azulejos. Couldn't be better!
Tiago shared his enthusiasm for the beauty and creativity of the art of tile work in Portuagal.
What an interesting seminar! This was a subject that I had no prior knowledge about whatsoever so it was a special condition. As always, Mr Tiago takes the audience through the centuries in a very structured way, from the the general to the particular, with cross references to other cultures and/or time periods, showered with beautiful visuals. His warmth and
enthusiasm makes it very pleasant to listen to.
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