The John Cheere Sculptures At Queluz National Palace, Portugal

Change project:

Conserving Skills

The finest surviving collection of eighteenth-century English baroque sculptures, commissioned in 1755 and created by John Cheere (1709-87)

Project overview

The long-term maintenance of monuments relies on the preservation of traditional craft skills. This is the key to our work at Queluz. We began by forging a partnership with the expert sculpture conservator Rupert Harris. Not only were some of the sculptures brought back to his workshop in London, but more importantly, he ran the training workshops in Queluz that will ensure their future. Read more


In the mid-eighteenth century John Cheere ran a thriving business in Hyde Park Corner mass-producing lead and plaster statues and busts. Cheere produced several copies of a specific subject but in many cases it is only at Queluz that a surviving example of a given subject can be found.
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The surviving sculptures by Cheere at Queluz are from the zenith of garden and country house design. The conservation of the largest collection of English lead sculpture outside the country is of high importance, not only to the Palace of Queluz but internationally as fine examples of a material form of sculpture that was only truly in vogue for one century.

Rupert Harris, Rupert Harris Conservation


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Location: Situated in the extensive gardens (designed by Jean Baptiste Robillion) of the National Palace of Queluz near Lisbon, Portugal
Project dates: October 2003 - ongoing
WMF Britain project cost: £247,679
Key Funders: The Robert W. Wilson Challenge to Conserve Our Heritage, the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the World Monuments Fund Kress Foundation European Preservation Program, Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Manifold Trust and Mr Andre Jordan and others