Art, Art on the Metro 7: Marquês de Pombal

Art on the Metro 7: Marquês de Pombal

Marquês de Pombal Square in Lisbon is famous for the large statue of the eponymous hero who rebuilt Lisbon after it was destroyed in the earthquake of 1755 and I have written about Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, better known as the Marquis of Pombal (Marquês de Pombal), and the statue dedicated to him in another article, but many people don’t realise that the adjacent Metro station also celebrates his life and times. When the Marquês de Pombal Metro station was remodelled in 1995, a new section was built for the yellow line and the Portuguese artist Menez (Maria Inês Ribeiro da Fonseca, 1926-1995) was invited to decorate it. The resulting artwork lines the walls of the entrance hall. For this commission, Menez chose to recreate the style of the fashionable blue and white decorative tiles depicting scenes of daily life of the 18th century, to tell the story of Portuguese history during the lifetime of the Marquis of Pombal (1699-1782). The scenes are like a comic strip of the main events and people of the 18th century and depict images such as the earthquake, the Marquis of Pombal with his plans for the reconstruction of Lisbon; the architects and engineers who assisted him; King José I (who, during his reign from 1750-1777, was happy to let his Prime Minister, the Marquis of Pombal, run the country); and other episodes from the Age of Enlightenment, which in Portugal is associated with the Marquis and his liberal reforms, which included reforming education, the law, the army, agriculture, industry and trade and abolishing slavery.