The Grand Hall on the 3rd floor of the main building of the U.Porto, in the city’s historical centre, features a gallery with about fifty oil paintings. Among them are the portraits of three remarkable people in the History of Portugal, associated to the early period of the University - king D. João VI, the founder of the Royal Academy of Maritime and Trade Affairs of the City of Porto, Passos Manuel, the creator of the Polytechnic Academy of Porto and António José de Almeida, responsible for the creation of the University of Porto.
The collection includes portraits of teachers of the Royal Academy of Navy and Trade Affairs, teachers and heads of the Polytechnic Academy of Porto and teachers and heads of the Faculty of Sciences who, in addition to teaching and research, played prominent roles at the University. Outstanding academic experts, committed as citizens and politically in society at that time, they contributed decisively to the development of science and to the reputation of the University of Porto.
The paintings are by 18th to 20th century Portuguese painters, such as Domingos Sequeira, João Baptista Ribeiro, João António Correia, Francisco José Resende, João Marques de Oliveira and self-taught artist Abel Salazar.