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22-A

Portrait of King João VI
Author: João Baptista Ribeiro
Origin: Portugal
Dating: 19th century
Material: Oil on Canvas
Dimensions (cm): 95 x 83,6
Inv. no.: 22/A / PD0494 / PD1338dep

This was the 15th Duke of Braganza and the 27th King of Portugal. He was the son of Pedro III and Maria I, Queen of Portugal. After the death of his older brother José – the heir to the throne – in 1792, he assumed the regency of the Kingdom due to his mother’s disability. In 1807, facing the invasion of the Napoleonic armies, he transferred his Court to Brazil. Soon after, he elevated it from Colony to Kingdom and decreed freedom of trade.

João became King, in 1816, and returned to Portugal in 1821 – pressured by the Court – to face the Constitutionalist movement. In 1823 he recovered the fullness of his powers with the aid of his son, Miguel, who in the following year tried to depose him in favour of the Queen, Carlota Joaquina. João VI finally deposed his son, forcing him into exile, after the rebellion episodes known as Vilafrancada (1823) and Abrilada (1824). In 1825 he recognized the independence of Brazil and died, in the following year, in Lisbon.