Colloque : « State-Rooms of Royal and Princely Palaces in Europe (14th-16th c.) » (Couvent des Carmes à Lisbonne et Hôtel de Ville à Sintra, Portugal, 15-17 mars 2017)

From the fourteenth to the sixteenth century, European monarchies saw a gradual centralisation of power. This was accompanied by the dissemination of political ideas that contributed to the making of a new image of the prince, which relied on visual instruments to assert and construct the prince’s sovereign power.

Royal and princely residences were at the centre of this phenomenon. In these privileged spaces, the sovereign accommodated an expanding entourage, and received messengers and guests from other courts. Consequently, it was in these buildings that court society developed in the first place.

It is therefore not surprising that these palaces played an important part in the self-representation of the sovereign and his court, be it by the arrangement of the spaces and their permanent and ephemeral decoration, or by the common and extraordinary rituals that took place here.

In these spaces, designated state-rooms appeared to be vital for constructing an effective image of the monarchy. They were an essential, often architecturally separate part of the palatial structure. Their decors, particularly during ceremonies, reflected political interests and ambitions that were essential to the image of the prince. Outside such ceremonies, state-rooms frequently served as a meeting place of the court, or even as a point of interest to be seen and commented on by spectators and panegyrists.

By placing a particular emphasis on the decor of those state-rooms, this workshop aims to increase our insights into the relations between the architecture, decoration, and rituals of monarchical power in state-rooms from the late middle ages to the beginning of the early modern period.


Wednesday, 15 March

LISBON, Carmo Convent

09:00 – 09:15 – arrival of the participants, inscription

09:15 – 09:45 – welcome

09:45 – 10:30 – Opening Lecture

  • Ana Isabel Buescu (Lisbon): Intérieurs. Salles d’apparat et cérémonies royales au Portugal au XVIe siècle – quelques notes

coffee break

11:00 – 12:30 – Early State-Rooms

  • Sabine Sommerer (Zurich, CH): The Eloquence of the King’s Chamber. Descriptions of Royal Palaces from the 10th-14th Century
  • Julie Marquer (Lyon, F): Les salles d’apparat de l’Alcazar du roi Pierre Ier à Séville (XIVe siècle)
  • Solveig Bourocher (Tours, F): Les décors intérieurs et extérieurs de la grande salle du logis ducal de Loches au service du pouvoir de Louis Ier d’Anjou (1370-1378)

12:30 – 14:30 – lunch & guided tour at the Archeological Museum in the Carmo Convent

14:30 – 16:00 – State-Rooms in Italian Duchies

  • Matteo Ferrari (Poitiers, F): Le prince et son image. L’ornementation picturale des résidences seigneuriales de Galéas II et Barnabé Visconti
  • Francesca Tasso, Tosi Luca (Milan, I): Sala dei Moroni in the so called Cortile Ducale (Ducal Courtyard) in Castello Sforzesco
  • Silvia Marin Barutcieff, Ștefan Barutcieff (Bucharest, RO): From Sacred Art to the Art of Politics. Mural Paintings and the 15th Century Iconographic Discourse of St. George’s Castle in Mantua

coffee break

16:30 – 18:00 – Between Republican and Princely Décor

  • Laura Cirri (Florence, I): The use of the imprese in the Medicean iconography of power: evolution and consolidation through the 15th and 16th centuries
  • Alessandro Savorelli (Florence, I): La Grande Salle de “Palazzo Vecchio” à Florence: la représentation du pouvoir entre république et seigneurie
  • Dorit Malz (Florence, I): Jupiter and Neptune as Emperor Charles V and Andrea I Doria. Changing allusions at the Genovese court

19:30 – dinner

Thursday, 16 March

SINTRA, Town Palace

09:11 departure from Lisbon (Rossio station)

10:30 – 10:45 – welcome at Sintra

10:45 – 11:45 – guided tour at the Town Palace

coffee break

12:00 – 13:00 – The Sala dos Brasões I

  • Miguel Metelo de Seixas (Lisbon): La ‘sala dos brasões’ de Sintra: approches et enjeux historiographiques
  • Christian de Mérindol (Paris, F): A propos du Palais de Sintra, les priorités directionnelles et autres références

13:00 – 14:30: déjeuner

14:30 – 15:30 – La Sala dos Brasões II

  • Pedro Flor (Lisbon): Decorating spaces: Artistic strategies of King Manuel I and the great hall of Sintra royal palace
  • Laurent Hablot (Paris, F): Des cerfs et des armoiries. Emblématique et symbolique du cerf écuyer dans la représentation du pouvoir à la fin du Moyen Age

coffee break

16:00 – 17:30 – Other state-rooms in Portugal

  • Helder Carita (Lisbon): Les salles d’apparat au Palais des Vice-Rois à Goa
  • Nuno Senos (Lisbon): The Great Hall of the Ducal Palace of Vila Viçosa
  • Milton Parcheo (Coimbra): A king between gods and heroes: The iconographic program of the Palace of Ribeira throne room during the reform of D. Filipe I of Portugal

17:30 – 19:00 visit of the Pena Castle

19:30 dinner and return to Lisbon

Friday, 17 March

LISBON, Carmo Convent

09:00 – 10:00 – Décor and Ephemeral Art

  • Marie Koehn (Strasbourg, F / Münster, D): Décor de table et mise en scène du pouvoir princière. Le mariage de Charles le Téméraire (1468)
  • Pierre Couhault (Paris, F): Un décor d’or, de soie et de laine. À propos du choix des tapisseries dans l’ornementation de la grande salle du palais de Bruxelles (XVe‐XVIe siècles)

coffee break

10:30 – 11:30 – Further perspectives

  • Isabel Monteiro (Lisbon): Music in Portuguese Renaissance Courts: Performers, Context and Places
  • James Hillson (Cambridge, UK): Inheriting St Stephen’s Chapel: A Palace Chapel as State-Room at Westminster, 1348-1450

coffee break

12:00 – 12:30 – conclusions and final discussion


The workshop is organised by Torsten Hiltmann (Münster), Miguel Metelo de Seixas (Lisbon), and João Portugal (Lisbon) as part of the Portuguese-German research project ‘In the Service of the Crown: The Use of Heraldry in Royal Political Communication in Late Medieval Portugal’, funded by the VolkswagenFoundation. It is supported furthermore by the Palácio Nacional de Sintra; the Associação dos Arqueólogos Portugueses; the Instituto Português de Heráldica.

Citer ce billet
Benjamin Ringot (2017, 28 février). Colloque : « State-Rooms of Royal and Princely Palaces in Europe (14th-16th c.) » (Couvent des Carmes à Lisbonne et Hôtel de Ville à Sintra, Portugal, 15-17 mars 2017). CRCV. Consulté le 24 février 2024, à l’adresse

Benjamin Ringot

Adjoint au directeur scientifique, Responsable enseignement et formation Centre de recherche du château de Versailles

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Benjamin Ringot

Adjoint au directeur scientifique, Responsable enseignement et formation Centre de recherche du château de Versailles

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