House-Museum of Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves – Lisbon, Portugal


The building housing the Anastácio The Gonçalves Museum, built between 1904 and 1905, was initially the residence and studio of the Portuguese painter José Malhoa. Located in the Saldanha district of Lisbon, a booming suburb at the time, the structure was based on a design by Norte Júnior, a renowned Portuguese architect who worked on several important national buildings, such as the Palace Hotel Bussaco.

The decorative and structural elements instantly identify the building as an example of Art Nouveau architecture, including the female muses (represented in tiles, of course, this being Portugal), the ironwork of flora and fauna, the stained glass windows and an asymmetrical arrangement. Above the main balcony window is the Latin inscription “Pro Arte” or “For Art”, which could not be a more apt description of the interior of the house. Selling his house after the death of his wife, José Malhoa painted its future owner, Anastácio Gonçalves, in an impressionist portrait displayed inside, one of the many paintings in the museum.

Gonçalves, an ophthalmologist with a great eye for collecting, amassed a wide range of pieces that offer a fascinating look at what interested him, ranging from blue and white Chinese porcelain to 17th-century Dutch furniture. His taste for painting leaned towards landscape, although the museum also displays several remarkable portraits, such as the striking António Ramalho lady in black. Gonçalves called him his mona-lisa.

The doctor never married but was so dedicated to art that when he finally visited the Hermitage Museum in Russia in 1965, he died the same night. It was his explicit request to turn his house into a museum after his death, and this wish was realized in 1980. Some rooms in the house-museum, such as his bedroom, retain their original furniture and aesthetic refinement.


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