Emblematic revivals:

medieval badges of the Houses of Braganza and Savoy in a nineteenth-century Portuguese royal palace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


At the palace of Ajuda, the Lisbon residence of King Luís I of Portugal and his wife Maria Pia of Savoy, one of the rooms of the queen's apartments is lined with a damask fabric displaying three alternating figures: stars, dragons and knots. This represented an attempt to revive the badges of the Houses of Braganza and Savoy, seeking to display the historical and symbolic links that united these two lineages. At a time when there was a transformation or even a decline in royal heraldry, this fabric shows how an ancient emblematic system was understood and used by Queen Maria Pia as an instrument of genealogical self-representation and political visual communication. She thus used these emblems to underline the prestige of the Portuguese Royal House at the palace which, as the royal residence, set itself up as the quintessential symbolic space of the monarchy.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVisual Resources
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2017


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