DFAS lecture: Great buildings and gardens of Portugal

April's lecture for the Decorative and Fine Arts Society of The Hague (DFAS) explores the 'Great Buildings and Gardens of Portugal' with Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Barbara Peacock.



Although comparatively little known, the architecture and gardens of Portugal offer many visual delights to the visitor. This lecture will explore the development of Portuguese architecture through a series of outstanding buildings starting with the gothic Cistercian abbey of Alcobaca and the wonderful lace-like carved decoration on the royal abbey of Batalha.


Portugal created its own version of the Renaissance known as Manueline, a unique combination of classical forms enriched with decoration influenced by Portugal’s great seafaring tradition. The wealth of the country in the 17th and 18th century resulted in many baroque and rococo palaces and villas.


Again Portugal produced her own particular vigorous interpretation of these styles. The lecture shall look at the beautiful university library at Coimbra, the Rococo royal palace at Queluz, the delightful villa of Mateus, amongst other examples.

Many Portuguese buildings, fountains and canals are beautified by azuelos-the coloured pictorial tiles, which are such a traditional feature. Many unspoilt early formal gardens survive, and these are one of the little explored delights of this beautiful country. As elsewhere the 19th century is a period of revivals, and the lecture shall conclude with an astonishing royal neo-Manueline palace and its gardens at Busaco.

Barbara Peacock is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, has spoken to the National Trust and been tutor in the Fine Art Department of Continuing Education, Southampton University. She also arranges art and architectural courses in UK and abroad and was previously Assistant Keeper of Fine Art, Birmingham City Art Gallery. She is currently researching a book on Great Houses of Bohemia and Moravia (Czech Republic) and has frequently taken tours to this fascinating country.


See www.dfas.nl for further information.

When: Tuesday, 3 April, 2012 ~ 8.00 pm (doors open at 7.30 pm)

Where: De Warenar Kerkstraat 75, Wassenaar

Admission: Non-members € 10. A membership (8 lectures, free entrance and other activities) is € 55 per year and € 90 for a couple. 

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