Medieval colours: comparative material studies of Norwegian and Portuguese polychrome sculpture (1)

Medieval colours

Promoter: Associação para a Inovação e Desenvolvimento da FCT (NOVA.ID.FCT)


University of Oslo. Norway

EEA Grants: 12 338,10 €

Total Amount: 13 709,00 €

Grace Code: PT-BI100


What did this initiative focus on?

This initiative will unite conservation and heritage researchers at, the National Museums of Arte Antiga and Machado de Castro, the University of Oslo, and the National Trust of Norway. The aim is to study polychrome sculpture from the medieval period in Portugal and Norway (c. 1150–1535). Surviving examples have been investigated within very different research traditions, which pose significant challenges for comparing the long and complex histories of these objects, chiefly their histories of restoration and conservation.

In Portugal, research has been mostly limited to art-historical and iconographic studies, with recent investments in systematic material studies.

By contrast, research in Norway has focussed on characterization of original materials and, unlike in Portugal, there are examples that retain original decoration that is not substantially covered by later repaints.

To address challenges, and to learn from contrasting realities, we aim to re-examine past results and methodologies, and set dialogues between established experts, to strengthen cooperation and develop multifaceted interpretations, in advance of a much larger initiative to place medieval polychromed heritage in Portugal and Norway into a broader European context.