Excerpt from the introductory text, The Porcelain Garden by José Manuel Martins Carneiro, Director of Palacio Nacional da Pena: 'Palacio Nacional da Pena was a Royal Palace, and during the reign of the H.M. D. Maria II, it became one of the various summer residences and holiday homes of the Portuguese Royal Family, due above all to the "dream come true" of her Consort, Prince Fernando de Saxe Coburg-Gotha, an outstanding personality who represented the true expression of Romantic ideals. Thanks to the brilliant idea of Antonio Feliciano de Castilho, he became known in our History as the "Artist King", a nickname to which we constantly refer. Therefore, as a sequence to the presentation of various departments of the Museum, we are now publishing the catalogue of the nucleus of "Oriental Porcelain" in the Palacio Nacional da Pena. This is aimed to provide a better understanding of the heterogeneous taste of the Royal Family, and to enhance our "collective memory" which should always be recalled and zealously preserved. The publication of this catalogue is thus an excellent way of getting an insight into times gone by and a better understanding of what is now regarded as a "Museum Piece", and which, on account of its rarity, extravagance, period, etc. has fallen into disuse or is no longer manufactured. The aim is moreover, to lead us to take another look at all these pieces which used to have a specific purpose or objective, which was not merely decorative, but rather essentially utilitarian, like the tureens, the serving dishes, the chamber pots, the incense burners, the vases and other items which had to be washed, cleaned and even broken every day.'
Published by Fundação Oriente / Câmara Municipal de Cascais, Portugal, 2000
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