[paper] Milton Pacheco(Coimbra): A king between gods and heroes: The iconographic program of the Palace of Ribeira throne room during the reform of D. Filipe I of Portugal

When in 1581 king Phillip II of Spain was acclaimed sovereign of the Portuguese Empire as D. Filipe I of Portugal, he spent the first three years in the kingdom in order to reorganize it according to his personal administrative requirements and political needs. Determined to restructured the new realm in his own image, as the powerful ruler of the vast Spanish Habsburg Empire, which would thoroughly increase extremely with the junction of the Portuguese colonial territories, D. Filipe I ordered to the royal architects to renovate and embellished all royal residences in Portugal. After the general inventory of the main royal palaces, the monarch promptly decided to promote a strengthening architectural renovation and an aesthetic enrichment of the residence of his Portuguese ancestor, D. Manuel I, the Palace of Ribeira in Lisbon. There were erected new buildings and established new ceremonials protocols both for the public and private palatine dependencies. Once more, art would become a vital socio‐political weapon to emphasize the royal image and reinforce adherence to the new Spanish Habsburg monarchy. The main goal of our paper is to present and analyse the artistic program executed for the throne room of the Palace of Ribeira ordered by D. Filipe I of Portugal and executed under the supervision of the viceroy D. Alberto of Austria. During our paper, we will try also to comprehend the display of the repraesentatio majestatis of the Habsburg sovereign as a mechanism to legitimate his power between his new subjects.


This paper will be presented at the international conference:

State-Rooms of Royal and Princely Palaces in Europe (14th-16th c.): Spaces, Images, Rituals – Lisbon/Sintra, 15-17 March 2017 (link)

which aims to put the Sala dos brasões in Sintra in its European context as a royal/princely state-room. It is a follow up to the “Heraldry in Medieval and Early modern State-rooms” held in March 2016 in Münster, which, for its part, focused on the heraldic décor of medieval and early modern state-rooms as such.


Cite the article as: Torsten Hiltmann, "[paper] Milton Pacheco(Coimbra): A king between gods and heroes: The iconographic program of the Palace of Ribeira throne room during the reform of D. Filipe I of Portugal", in: Heraldica nova. Medieval Heraldry in social and cultural-historical perspectives (blog on Hypotheses.org), published: 13/03/2017, Internet: http://heraldica.hypotheses.org/5552.

Torsten Hiltmann

Torsten Hiltmann is Juniorprofessor for the High and Late Middle Ages and Auxiliary Sciences at the University of Münster. He is interested in new approaches to late medieval and early modern heraldry, the medieval notion of kingship and the methods and technologies of Digital Humanities. On hypotheses.org, he is maintaining, among others, the blog “Heraldica Nova”.

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