Wednesday, 12 August 2009

De Visme Quinta at Benfica

The Quinta that was eventually purchased by D. Isabel Maria, and where this Princess passed the last days of her life, was built by Gerard de Visme, an English merchant, in the XVIII century. The building as well as the disposition of the grounds, was planned by the architect Ignacio de Oliveira Bernardes who also directed its construction. De Visme, (who purchased this Quinta in 1767) embellished the grounds with a number of statues and rare plants; decorated the mansion with objets d'art, principally oil-paintings, of which he was especially fond; organised a museum containing antiquities, curios, and works of good craftsmanship. Some years later having suffered some grievous «desgostos» [disillusions] he gave up the Quinta, selling it to the third Marquis of Abrantes, D. Pedro de Lencastro. It was later sold by the fifth Marquis of Abrantes to Princess Isabel Maria in 1834.

Dicionário de Portugal, Vol. 2, p. 283

quoted in translation in Historical association Annual Report, 1943

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