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Photographer's Note

Queluz's architecture is representative of the final extravagant period of Portuguese culture that followed the discovery of Brazilian gold in 1690. From the beginning of the 18th century many foreign artists and architects were employed in Portugal to satisfy the needs of the newly enriched aristocracy; they brought with them classical ideas of architecture which derived from the Renaissance. In its design, Queluz is a revolt against the earlier, heavier, Italian-influenced Baroque which preceded the Rococo style throughout Europe.

Comparisons with the far larger and more Baroque Versailles are unwarranted: Versailles is referred to as having "an aura of majesty" and it was built and dedicated to exhibit in stone "all the glories of France," whereas the far smaller palace at Queluz has been described as "exquisite rather than magnificent" and looking like "a very expensive birthday cake". In its frivolity, the architecture of Queluz reflects the lifestyle led by the Portuguese royal family at the time of building: during the reign of Dom Pedro's brother, Joseph I, when Portugal was in practice governed by a valido or favourite, the Marquis of Pombal. Pombal encouraged the royal family to while away their days in the country and leave affairs of state to him. Thus the extravagant, almost whimsical architecture of Queluz, set apart from the capital city, exactly represents the politics and social events of Portugal during this era, and the carefree and flamboyant lives led by its occupants. Queluz's role as a haven for those without responsibility was, however, to be short-lived.

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Additional Photos by luis marques (alive) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 114 W: 1 N: 227] (1362)
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