CALOUSTE GULBENKIAN MUSEUM
Outstanding collection from the East and the West
Northeast of Eduardo VII Park is the Gulbenkian Museum, one of the
world's great museums and one of Europe's unsung treasures.
Part of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, it houses a
magnificent collection of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Asian, and
It was substantially renovated and modernized in 2001 (many of its
masterpieces were on display in New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art during
renovation), and can't be missed during a visit to Lisbon. This is one of
the world's finest private art collections, amassed over a period of 40
years by oil magnate Calouste Gulbenkian, who was one of the 20th century's
wealthiest men. In his later years he adopted Portugal as his home, and
donated all of his stupendous art treasures to the country when he died in
1955 at the age of 86.
Of the many highlights is a haunting gold Egyptian mummy mask, an
exquisite 2700-year-old alabaster bowl, a series of bronze cats and other
priceless treasures in the Egyptian section,
a stunning collection of
Hellenic coins and a 2400-year-old Attic vase in the Greek and Roman
section, rare pieces of Chinese porcelain, Japanese prints, and rich 16th
and 17th century Persian tapestries.
In the huge European art section (many of the works were bought from the
Hermitage in St. Petersburg), are pieces by Rembrandt (Potrait of an Old
Man, and Alexander the Great), Peter Paul Rubens (Portrait of
Helene Fourment), Claude Monet, Van Dyck, Ghirlandaio (15th century
Portrait of a girl), Rogier Van der Weyden (St. Catherine),
and Pierre-Ausguste Renoir (Potrait of Madame Claude Monet), along
with French furniture and textiles.
There's also a white marble statue of Diana by French sculptor Jean-Antoine
Houdon, silver made by François-Thomas Germain once used by Catherine the
Great, and René Lalique jewelry considered to be unique in the world.
Sharing the lovely serene gardens of the Gulbenkian Museum is the
Modern Art Center, containing modern and contemporary Portuguese and
foreign art displayed on two floors. There are more than 10,000 items,
including works by Paula Rego, Almada Negreiros, Souza Cardoso, and Vieira
Get reduced admission to the museum and ride Lisbon's metro, buses, and trams for FREE with the Lisboa Card.
How to Visit
Where: Avenida de Berna, 45A, Uptown
How: Metro - São Sebastião or Praça de Espanha Stations
When: 10AM-5:45PM (Closed Mondays)
Gonçalves Museum - A phenomenal personal decorative arts collection.
Pequeno - A monumental Moorish-style bullring.