After the liberal revolution in Portugal, the state centralized the Art education by merging the teaching of Fine Arts and of Mechanic Arts. The Lisbon National Academy of Fine Arts was founded in this context in 1836 and was inaugurated in the following year. It occupied the building of the extinct Monastery of São Francisco, where a library of thousands of volumes was also available. Although its history was obviously made of changes, the Academy maintained a strong cultural, pedagogical and honorific vocation. Besides forming new artists, the Academy always gave scholarships and prizes and saw to the publication of reference works.
The documentation that we publish from its archival funds belong to a donation made in 1902 by António TomásPires (1850-1913), an ethnographer, writer, politician, and member of the National Monuments committee. He assembled documents from the 16th to the 19th century, among which many private and family letters.
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