European Art: Painting, Sculpture, Works on Paper

Selected Works from Our European Art: Painting, Sculpture, Works on Paper Collection

The depth of the Museum’s collection of European art is in its holdings of 19th-century French painting, although there are a handful of fine examples of 18th-century French and British painting, mostly in the genre of portraiture. Like the rest of the permanent collection, the strengths of SBMA’s European holdings derive from those of its foundational collection, the gifts and bequest of Wright S. Ludington (1900-1992). The Museum has received additional gifts of art by Barbizon school artists Camille Corot (1796-1875) and Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867), Impressionist artists Claude Monet (1840-1926), Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), and Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)) and Post-Impressionist artists Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Odilon Redon (1840-1916), Henri Rousseau (1844-1910), and Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), collecting areas for which it is best known. However, the quality of the collection is equally strong in classical early modernism, with important works by Georges Braque (1882-1963), Henri Matisse (1869-1954), and Raoul Dufy (1877-1953). Ludington’s interest in British Modernism also accounts for the Museum’s unusually deep holdings in this area with major works by Walter Sickert (1860-1942), Stanley Spencer (1891-1959), and Percy Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957). The quality of SBMA’s European paintings is complemented by its holdings in the medium of sculpture, reflecting another of Ludington’s abiding interests, with a chronological breadth that stretches from Albert-Ernest Carrier-Belleuse (1824-1887) and Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux (1827-1875) to Henry Moore (1898-1986) and Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973).


Works on paper complement and expand upon the painting and sculpture collections. Drawings range from the 17th to the 20th centuries, with notable strengths in French and British 19th and early 20th century work. The print collection comprises Old Masters such as Rembrandt (1606-1669), Dürer (1471-1528), and Piranesi (1720-1778), over 4,000 French satirical prints including the entire oeuvre of Honoré Daumier (1808-1879), and important works by French printmakers involved in the etching and lithography revivals of the later 19th century.

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