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No. 13 (2022): Multithematic Issue

A bust of Benedict XIV, the Pope of the most faithful king, at Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro

December 27, 2022


This text aims to discuss a work that belongs to Museu Nacional de Machado de Castro and which until now has not received due attention from art historiography. It is a marble bust of Benedict XIV, the pope who bestowed the much-desired title of Fidelissimo (the most faithful) on D. João V, King of Portugal between 1706 and 1750.

Having had a troubled path, like other works of art, following the expulsion of religious orders, determined by the liberal decree of 1834, the bust is now part of the collections of the Coimbra museum.

We therefore propose to clarify the historical issues related to the bust of Benedict XIV and place it in the context of 18th century Roman sculpture, seeking to contribute to a more in-depth knowledge of the corpus of sculptures from the Roman Settecento in general and in Portugal in particular.


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