The Berardo Collection is one of the world’s leading modern art collections. Housed in the Berardo Collection Museum, it comprises major works by some of the most important artists of the 20th century, including Bacon, Dali, Duchamp, Koons, Magritte, Miro, Picasso, Pollock and Warhol.
The collection was gathered together by one of Portugal’s former leading businessmen, Jose Rodrigues Berardo. A collector of sorts right from his teenage years, Berardo began collecting art seriously in the 1970s and by the 1990s was regularly investing in exceptional works of modern art by some of the greatest artists of the era.
Berardo’s dream of seeing his collection open to the public finally came true in 2007, with the creation of the Berardo Collection Museum in the Belem area of Lisbon.
The museum is now a national and international cultural attraction alongside two other national museums which were also set up by Berardo, in the cellars of the Alianca Vinhos de Portugal, in northern Portugal, and at the Budha Eden in Quinta dos Loridos in Bombarral, just north of Lisbon. Part of the collection has also been shown at Sintra’s Museum of Modern Art.
The Berardo Collection Museum showcases more than 900 works, which between them represent more than 70 different artistic tendencies. It is believed that Berardo’s full collection numbers more than 4000 works! The works are rotated, to show some 250 at a time, spread over the two floors of the museum.
Key works to look out for during your visit include ‘Ten Foot Flowers’ and ‘Portrait of Judy Garland’ by Andy Warhol, ‘Femme dans un Fauteuil’ by Picasso and ‘Oedipus and the Sphinx After Ingres’ by Francis Bacon.
The majority of the works are by European and American artists and span not just the 20th century but also the beginnings of the 21st century, and provide a fascinating insight into the modern and contemporary art scene.
Portuguese art is not overlooked at the Berardo Collection Museum, with many pieces on show by leading Portuguese artists including Maria Helena Vieira da Silva and Helena Almeida.
The collection demonstrates clearly how Portuguese art is influenced by the international art scene, and indeed how the international scene has in turn been influenced by Portugal’s home-grown artists.
Whenever you visit, you are likely to find a temporary exhibition to interest you, in addition to the permanent pieces on display.
Recent exhibitions have included a retrospective of the Portuguese architect Amancio Guedes, an exhibition of the Austrian artist Peter Kogler and a show dedicated to the Art Deco period.
From photography to painting, from sculpture to screen printing, the Berardo Collection Museum showcases the highest quality works in a vast array of media by some of the greatest artists of our time and is not to be missed during your visit to Lisbon.
Berardo Collection Museum
Praça do Imperio
Tel: +351 213 612 878
Fax: +351 213 612 570