The King's Fountain

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Chafariz d’El-Rey
English: The King's Fountain
Chafariz d’El-Rey, c. 1570-80 (Colecção Berardo).png
Yearc. 1570, perhaps continuing until c. 1580
SubjectChafariz d’El-Rey
LocationPálacio da Bacalhôa, Azeitão

The King's Fountain (Portuguese: Chafariz d’El-Rey) is a 16th century oil painting by an anonymous flemish painter. The work depicts a scene in front of the Fountain of El-Rei (English: The King's Fountain) in Lisbon, Portugal.[1][2]


The King's Fountain depicts a scene set around the Fountain of El-Rei in Lisbon, the capitol of the-then Kingdom of Portugal. Painted during the late 16th century, the work features images associated with the wealth and power of the burgeoning Portuguese Empire; trade goods from Japan, Goa, and various African kingdoms are seen, as are African slaves and free Africans.[1] Jewish constables (among several other Jewish men and women) can be seen detaining a thief[2] or drunk[1], and the painting notably contains a depiction of a Afro-Portuguese knight endowed with the heraldry of the Order of Santiago,[1][2] sometimes identified as João de Sá Panasco. More domestically-minded work can be seen, such as boatmen unloading grain and attending to passengers, while jugglers and vendors can be seen mingling with the crowd. Several animals are also present.[1][3]


The wide variety of figures seen in the painting led to said work being described as being an example of globalization in the Renaissance period.[2][1][3][4] The painting currently is on display at the Pálacio da Bacalhôa in Azeitão.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Wecker, Menachem (January 9, 2013). "Medieval Painting Hints at Ties Between Blacks and Jews". The Forward. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  2. ^ a b c d PBS series Civilizations, Season 1 Episode 4, "Encounters". 2018-05-08. PBS, 2018. URL:
  3. ^ a b Cembalest, Robin (2012-10-25). "From Kongo to Othello to Tango to Museum Shows". ARTnews. Retrieved 2018-05-09.
  4. ^ Afro-europe (2013-01-13). "AFRO-EUROPE: 16th-Century painting hints at ties between Blacks and Jews". AFRO-EUROPE. Retrieved 2018-05-09.