The Stag Room of the National Palace of Pena recovers its original colours
26 Apr 2022
As a result of recent conservation and restoration work, the Stag Room, which was conceived as the large Dining Room of the Palace of Pena, is now found closer to its original appearance.
During a thorough historical and material investigation, Parques de Sintra teams discovered that the room had been decorated with other colours at least until the end of 1938, with stone tones in the stucco decorative elements and ultramarine blue framing. Subsequent interventions removed this chromatic richness, impeding a correct reading of the room, which is something the recently completed restoration of the original tones makes possible, safeguarding its historical authenticity.
As part of this intervention, the stucco elements representing hunting weapons were subject to a thorough and lengthy restoration process, which included the manual removal of the layers of paint that obscured the original colours and the recovery of the richness of these decorative details, using mixtures of pigments and lime to obtain the colours. The intervention included stabilising surfaces by treating cracks and volumetric reconstitution through cleaning and occasional filling before the final whitewashing.
Next to reception and entertainment areas such as the Great Hall and the Smoking Room, the Stag Room formed part of the more public wing of the Palace of Pena, hosting guests of the Royal Family. This Dining Room, whose construction was completed in 1860, was strategically located near the kitchen and included an access for guests from the outside through the Courtyard of Arches.
The room has a circular configuration, occupying the entire outline of the turret, including a domed roof supported by an imposing central column. Of Neomanueline style, each of the seven doors and windows features different stone frames that refer to the stonework on the exterior of the palace. Polychrome stucco elements between each opening include the aforementioned decoration and stag heads with genuine antlers.
In addition to the restoration of the colour, the original table was also relocated to the room. This piece was designed to be positioned around the column, reinforcing and elevating the circular shape of the room, and was part of a set of furniture made in 1861 by the carpenter Gregório, who was working on the construction for the palace itself, which was still in progress at the time.
In order to restore the Stag Room to its original splendour, the Palace conservation team is continuing its research and development work on a museum project to be implemented in the space, which will reflect the times when great banquets were served here and when King Ferdinand II used the space to exhibit pieces from his collections, even opening it for public visits.