Joao V (1689-1750) is believed to be the Portuguese Sun King. He not only put Portugal into the European politics raising its prestige to unknown levels but he also developed an ambitious artistic policy supported by huge spending in art, music and luxury items.
Considering Joao V's transcendence, it is surprising the relatively lack of interest showed by non-Portuguese historians regarding his role in the European cultural context. This panel will deal with the King's artistic policy with especial attention to Rome. Rome was the dreamed city of the "gentiluomini" and artists who used to travel to Italy to improve their education and their training. Joao V wanted to spend some time enjoying his own Grand Tour but his political responsibilities didn't allowed him to take that journey. This "viaggio mancato" was without doubt some kind of frustration and part of his artistic policy can be better understood if we keep that in mind. The king went through great cultural investments to display his wealth and power and to achieve a stronger position in Europe, but also because he obviously has a very particular taste. He supported lavish ambassadors entrées, made substantial donations to the Pope and became (in absentia) one of the most generous patrons in Rome. He commissioned hundreds of masterpieces, namely the magnificent sculptures for his Royal palace in Mafra or the sumptuous San Rocco's chapel (Lisbon), and he and his courtiers became some of the most influential collectors in the awakening of the Grand Tour. We encourage papers dealing with (but not only): - Cultural milieu and artistic trade in the Embassies. - The print collection and the Mariettes. - Art market in Rome. - Collectors and diplomats as trade agents for the king.