European Art Collection

The collection of European painting and sculpture at the Nelson-Atkins ranges from medieval to late 19th century and contains approximately 900 works of art.

Among the strongest areas are the Italian and the German and Netherlandish paintings, for which scholarly catalogs are available.

The Italian paintings collection includes one of the Museum’s greatest treasures, Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness by Caravaggio, and other important Italian works from the 16th to the 18th centuries including paintings by Titian, Bronzino, Strozzi, Reni, Guercino, Castiglione, Sebastiano Ricci, Canaletto, Gianquinto, Panini, Traversi and Guardi.

The stars of the Netherlandish and German paintings, of which a comprehensive catalog has recently been published, are Virgin and Child in a Gothic Interior by Petrus Christus, Cranach the Elder’s Three Graces, Wtewael’s Martyrdom of Saint Sebastian, portraits by Rembrandt and Frans Hals and a delightful interior scene by Jan Steen.

The French paintings include a major Poussin, The Triumph of Bacchus, and works by Claude Lorrain, Chardin, Boucher, Vigee Le Brun, Gericault, Delacroix, Millet, Corot and Courbet as well as a fine collection of Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. Among the former are Monet’s Boulevard des Capucines and Water Lilies, a large-scale garden scene by Pissarro and intriguing portraits by Caillebotte and Manet. The latter group includes Van Gogh’s Olive Orchard, Gauguin’s Faaturuma, Mont Sainte-Victoire by Cezanne and a Seurat painting.

English paintings include a fine, late Constable painting of The Dell at Helmingham Park and landscapes by Gainsborough and Turner, and Spanish paintings include works by El Greco, Zurbaran, Murillo and Goya.

The sculpture collection features Florentine and North Italian (Lombard) works from the Renaissance, as well as mid-16th-century Mannerist sculptures including the large Atalanta and Meleager with the Calydonian Boar by Mosca and a delicate Flagellation relief by Vincenzo Danti.

From the 18th and 19th centuries, there is an exceptional French terra-cotta bust by Pajou and a wax model of a seated man by Rodin.

The collection also includes works on paper, including exceptional pastels by Degas and Berthe Morisot as well as fine examples of drawings by Tiepolo and Ingres.