More faces of Inés

Sorry, guys, but I put far too much time and effort into this to let you escape with a mere 3700 words on the subject!

Don’t worry, though – this is mostly images. I found a lot of cool stuff while researching Inés de Castro, which I felt like sharing.


Fun fact: “Agora é tarde; Inês é morta” – “It’s too late, Inés is dead” – is a commonly used Portuguese saying.


As you probably won’t be surprised to hear, the locations associated with the life and death of Inés represent a fairly significant tourist attraction in Portugal. Below is one of the more popular postcards, showing Inés and Pedro – the latter looking rather the worse for wear, so presumably this image is taken image from a portrait done after her death. This image of Inés is frequently reproduced, but I haven’t been able to find an attribution for it. A contemporary report described Inés as being “beautiful as a flower, blond as the sun, and extremely elegant.”



This is Inés’ tomb at Alcobaça, on which she is depicted wearing a crown and surrounded by angels. The carvings around the sides represent scenes from her life. As John Martyn points out, none of them suggest anything like a post-mortem coronation.



Here we have the title pages of the three works under consideration in the previous post (or at least, the three works that were supposed to be under consideration when I was first planning it). Note the licensing dates on the translations by Peter Belon and Aphra Behn—I wonder whether this sort of coincidence was a common occurrence at the time?

Ines13b   Ines15b    Ines14b


This is the frontispiece of another literary work about Inés, this one a play from 1723 by the French writer, Antoine Houdar de La Motte, called simply Inés de Castro; evidently it was a great success. I’m interested in this one because it suggests yet another version of events. Yes, we have Inés facing death with her children clutching her skirts—but who is that holding a sword? And who is holding the hand of the man holding the sword? – who doesn’t look very happy about the role he’s been asked to play, we notice. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your point of view), I haven’t been able to find a copy of de La Motte’s play, let alone a translation, so we may never know for sure.



Artists have shown an understandable tendency to romanticise the story of Pedro and Inés—one way or another. The painting which I used to head the previous post, shown here again on the left, is by the Portuguese artist, Ernesto Ferreira Condeixa, and is usually called simply Pedro e Inês.

Given their Grand Guignol tendencies, perhaps it’s not surprising to find the French buying into the nightmare tale of Inés’ resurrection and ascension as Queen of Portugal. The painting on the right is Coronation of Inés by the 19th century French artist, Pierre-Charles Comte. Note the child on the left, cringing away from the gruesome spectacle. Presumably that’s the Infante Fernando, getting an important early life-lesson about not messing with his father.

Ines2c      Ines9c


Many of the operas about Inés also buy wholeheartedly into the more macabre version of her story. Here is a still from the Scottish Opera’s 1999 production of James MacMillan’s Inés de Castro, which in turn was based upon the 1989 play, Inés de Castro: A Portuguese Tragedy, by John Clifford:



While there were a number of shorts made about a hundred years ago (and how scary is it that we can say that?), as far as I can tell the only full-length film dealing with Inés was made in 1944, and is called – you guessed it – Inés de Castro. This was a Spanish-Portuguese co-production, financed through a Spanish studio but shot in Portugal in Portuguese. The film was released in both countries, a slightly shorter version in Spain, where it nevertheless won an award at the rather wonderfully named “National Syndicate of Spectacle”. Interestingly, Alicia Palacios, the actress playing Inés, was Cuban. Here is some advertising art:

Ines4b     Ines6



And last, but certainly not least—

I would like to extend my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to whoever was responsible for this:


4 Comments to “More faces of Inés”

  1. What, nobody’s made a film with Zombie Inés yet? The Spanish-Portugese film industries are slacking.

  2. I know! Particularly considering that the Spanish always seemed to have an odd take on zombies anyway.

    (Or how about Flying Zombie Head Ines? Much more historically accurate than most of what we have here…)

  3. (I left a much longer post in your “step to the right” post, but thought I’d paste this in here about the picture on the postcard above where the supposed Ines, is wearing the Templar Cross.)
    Who is the artist behind this Restoration style drawing that is so widely reproduced? Not entirely clear who actually drew it but Inesian scholar Maria Leonor Machado de Sousa says an 1817 book with the portrait reads “delineated” by José da Cunha Taborda and engraved by António José Quinto; it was reproduced by W. Skelton, engraved by G. Cook and published in Adamson’s Memoirs of the life and writings of Luis de Camoens, in 1820 which accounts for its popularity in England; a variation with Inês facing to the right, hair parted in the middle, lower neckline and wearing a pearl necklace is by C. Legrand, lithograph by Manuel Luís.

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