Thursday, 16 November 2006

2nd Marquess of Castelo Rodrigo

D. Manuel de Moura Corte-Real (1582-1652), 2nd Marquis of Castelo Rodrigo (cr. 1600 by Philip III, king of Spain)
High Commander of the Order of Christ and Vedor da Fazenda (Chancelor of the Exchequer (1624), Governor of the Spanish Flanders (1644-1647), High Chamberlain of Philip IV and Ambassador to the Holy See.
He was the son of the powerful D. Cristóvão de Moura (1538-1613), 1st Marquess of Castelo Rodrigo, faithful follower of Philip II of Spain having decisively helped Philip in obtaining by force and corruption the vacant Crown of Portugal in 1580. For his loyal services to the Spanish Habsburgs he rose to high offices, namely member of the Council of Portugal and in Philip III’s reign as Vice-Roy of Portugal. His governement of Portugal is ill-remembered and still today is considered as to have strongly harmed Portugal with the levying of high taxes and following the interests of Spain.
After the Restoration, in 1640, the Marquess of Castelo Rodrigo remained faithful to the Spanish Austrians and did not return to Portugal where he was considered a traitor and had all his estates confiscated by the Crown. The Palace his father had built in 1590 at Castelo Rodrigo was sacked and destroyed by the populace after the Restoration, symbolizing the hatred to the Moura family.

Artist: Jan Schorkens (c. 1622)
Tech.: C2.
Size: 201mm x 311 mm
Arms: Quarterings: I, IV - Moura; II, III - Corte-Real. Crest: Moura & Corte-Real. Cross of the Castilian Order of Calatrava
The bookplate of the 2nd. Marquess of Castelo Rodrigo depicts two crests which was contrary to the Portuguese and Iberian heraldic traditions, and was probably due to the Flemish origin of the engraver.
If the claims against the nature of the bookplates of D. Jorge Almeida and of D. Afonso de Castelo Branco (see previous postings) are correct, this would be the oldest known Portuguese ex libris, dating from 1622 [1].
Jan Schorkens, was a well-known Flemish artist who worked in Madrid from 1618-1630 and accompanied King Philip III when he visited Lisbon

[1] Fausto Moreira Rato, Manual de Ex-Librística, subsídios para a história e arte dos ex-líbris, Imprensa Nacional-Casa da Moeda, Lisboa, 1976, pp. 32; Sérgio Avelar Duarte, Ex-Líbris Portugueses Heráldicos, Liv. Civilização Editora, Porto, 1990, p. 360.

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