Model for the Equestrian Statue of D. José I
First half of the 20th century
The equestrian statue of King José I sculpted by Machado de Castro and cast by Bartolomeu da Costa was inaugurated on 6 June 1775, the monarch’s birthday, and placed in the centre of the Terreiro do Paço, upon the foundations of the old São João bastion.
Originally, the front of the pedestal sported a medallion bearing an effigy of the Marquis of Pombal. This was taken down after 1777, the year in which Queen Maria I ascended the throne, and replaced by a composition featuring the Lisbon coat of arms. The original medallion did not reappear at the base of the monument until 1833.
This equestrian statue of King José was the first public sculpture in Lisbon and a forerunner of the kind of monumental approach to city construction that would spread over the following centuries.
© Museu de Lisboa