Religious Art Museum
Located in a 16th century palace, the former residence of the Bishops of Funchal, it is one of the oldest and most well preserved museums in Funchal.
Funchal’s Religious Art Museum is in the former Bishop's Palace, founded by D. Luís Figueiredo de Lemos, in 1594. It houses collections of paintings, sculptures, jewellery and garments, chronologically, between the 15th and the 19th centuries.
The highlights of the Museum’s collections are in two main groups: Flemish Arts, with Paintings, Sculptures and Jewellery, dating from between the end of the fifteenth century and the early sixteenth century and Portuguese Art, between the fifteenth century and the eighteenth century.
Flemish painting in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries is distinguished not only for the high quality of its paintings but also for its large dimensions, unusual in museums in Europe. The collection of Flemish sculpture, especially from Malines and Antwerp, is also of note.
In the jewellery area, covering the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, pride of place goes to the 15th century processional cross of Água de Pena, a 16th century tray and a worked chalice from Antwerp and the processional cross presented to Funchal’s Cathedral by King Manuel I.
In the vestments area, the majority embroidered in varying shades of gold, the highlight is the chasuble embroidered in gold on gold fabric from Funchal’s Cathedral.
This museum has recently opened another facilty - The Belvedere Tower - a typical architectural feature dated form the 18th century Madeiran stately palaces. This lookout tower area served for spotting any ships entering and leaving Funchal Bay. Inspired in this typology, the Tower of Funchal Sacred Art Museum was mainly used for quiet contemplation by the bishops who lived in the building until the late 19th century.
On the balcony, one can observe a blue and white tiled panel, typical of the Lisbon Workshops glazed-tile art from the second quarter of the 18th century.
The Museum has educational services with its own support staff for dealing with the various publics, children, young people, seniors and those with special needs.
Antique jewelry, sculptures and Flemish paintings