Architectural Drawings, Sketches and Portraits>

The drawing collection includes almost six hundred pieces, in graphite, coloured pencil, wax crayon, red chalk pastel, charcoal, ink, gallic iron ink and wash.
Ranging over the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries, the works come from various sources and were acquired in a variety of ways. In addition to the donations and acquisitions, it is important to mention the transfer of drawings from the Escola Livre das Artes do Desenho (Free School of Drawing) to the Museum. Also, the drawings relating to the University of Coimbra Reform (1772 – 1777) have always belonged at the Bishop’s Palace.

The earliest works in the collection are from the 18th century and include a valuable set of drawings pertaining to the Pombaline Reform and several projects of retables for churches in the Beira region as well as for sacred metalwork pieces.
The collection contains a large variety of drawings from the 19th and 20th centuries which are mostly individual specimens. The figure and composition studies by Domingos António Sequeira are of a particularly high quality. The studies for the illustrations of the 1878 edition of ‘Os Lusíadas’ by Soares dos Reis and the drawings of scenes from the History of Portugal by Manuel de Macedo; recording of architectural details by António Augusto Gonçalves; the album of landscapes from Nature by Luís Bastos; the plans for tombs and fireplaces conceived by João Machado; the ‘Portrait of Suzanne Lenglen’, in the bold strokes of Almada de Negreiros and the ultra-refined drawings for female portraits from Manuel Jardim’s late period.
The Museum holds one hundred and twenty-seven drawings from the Pombaline Reform related to the construction and modification of the University buildings, especially the new science facilities, as well as complementary urban works ( figs. 1 and 1a ). These include the University Press ( fig. 2 ), to be placed in the upper cloister of the Old Cathedral and contiguous spaces; the Chemistry Laboratory ( fig. 4 ), the Botanical Garden ( fig. 5 ) which had more than one project and the Astronomy Observatory ( fig. 6 ), a scientific masterpiece whose construction in Coimbra went through several alterations and numerous project variations, finally being temporarily constructed in the Pátio das Escolas during the 19th century. The mentor of this reform was the Marquês de Pombal and the executor, the Bishop-Count D. Francisco de Lemos Pereira Coutinho who was Dean of the University at the time. The architect William Elsden, whose name ‘Guilherme Elsden Te. Cel. &’ is inscribed on many of the copies made by assistant officers, played a predominant role, his influence persisting in Coimbra through the school of architecture which he had initiated.
All the plans and ideas relating to the University Reform continued after
the reign of D. José I and the disgrace of the Marquês de Pombal. However the project was no longer considered a priority and was handed over to new architects: José Carlos Magne, Manuel Alves Macomboa and, then in the 19th century, to José do Couto dos Santos Leal.
Twelve of the architectural drawings conserved in the museum integrate the Book on University Construction Work (Book of Provisions). Two more albums with bindings from the same period are to be found in the Biblioteca Nacional do Rio de Janeiro, and a third album – the Book on Plans of the University of Coimbra Construction Work – belongs to the family of Eng. João Miguel dos Santos Simões.
The University of Coimbra possesses other drawings from the Reform which are to be found in the Main Library, in the Archive, in the Observatory and in the Botanical Department Library.