The collection of engravings of the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis embraces the work of Portuguese and foreign engravers spanning a time period from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Lithography is present in the works of the 19th century.
Local iconography is represented either by plans of the city, invaluable registers for the history of the urbanization of Porto, or else in the form of panoramic views, mainly the work of English artists. The Museum also conserves some specimens of the travelogues or albums in which some of these panoramas were first published. The earliest Portuguese engraving representing a perspective of the city dates from the 18th century.
Also originating locally is a series of images of the saints, devotional prints in the popular style ordered by churches or brotherhoods from a whole range of engravers, some well-known and others anonymous.
Within the collection of engravings derived from outside of the country, there are some specimens by old French masters such as Gérard Audran, or Nicolas Henri Tardieu, while from the Italian school, artists such as Pietro Testa and Salvatore Rosa are prominent.
The museum collection includes old Portuguese engravings, with a small nucleus of royal portraits by Guilherme Debrie and also Gaspar Fróis Machado. Some works by Francisco Bartolozzi, an incontrovertible figure in Portuguese engraving in the passage from the 18th to the 19th century, are included, along with other important Portuguese engravers such as Gregório Francisco de Queirós and Raimundo Joaquim da Costa.
Lithography, which was introduced into the country during the second decade of the 19th century, appears in the Museum collection associated with artists such as L. Maurin and Adolphe Pinçon linked essentially to portraiture, a genre well represented by the new technique, and furthermore Maurício José Sendim, a Portuguese lithographer with an extremely varied output.
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