Paintings - The Courtauld Institute of Art


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The Courtauld Gallery’s collection of paintings ranges from the Renaissance to the 20th century. It includes one of the richest holdings of early Italian art in Britain, as well as masterpieces by Lucas Cranach and Pieter Bruegel the Elder. The Northern Baroque master Peter Paul Rubens is especially well-represented in the collection.

The Courtauld is best known for its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings, including iconic works by Manet, Degas, Monet, van Gogh, Gauguin, and Cézanne. The displays extend into the 20th century with works by Modigliani, Matisse, Kandinsky and the Bloomsbury group, alongside masterpieces of German Expressionism and modern British art.

20th century

The Courtauld Gallery has a rich collection of modern works, ranging from early 20th-century masterpieces such as Amedeo Modigliani’s, Female Nude, to major Post-War paintings, such as Frank Auerbach’s Rebuilding the Empire Cinema, Leicester Square.  

The Gallery is the only museum in Britain with such an outstanding display of paintings by the French Fauves (or Wild Beasts), including important works by Henri Matisse, André Derain and Raoul Dufy.

This is complemented by German Expressionist paintings by Wassily Kandinsky, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and their contemporaries. The Gallery also holds a significant group of works by Oskar Kokoschka, including his enormous ceiling painting The Prometheus Triptych, which is displayed on an occasional basis.

The Gallery houses paintings by leading artists of the Bloomsbury Group, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant and Roger Fry, together with avant-garde decorative arts produced by them at their Omega Workshops.

The collection of modern British art extends well into the 20th century with works by Ben Nicholson, Graham Sutherland, Ivon Hitchens and Frank Auerbach among others.

Impressionism and Post-Impressionism

Discover The Courtauld Gallery’s Impressionist and Post-Impressionist collection, featuring paintings by Monet, Degas, Gauguin, and Van Gogh. Don’t miss world-famous masterpieces including Manet’s A Bar at the Folies-Bergère and Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait with Bandaged Ear.

Early Modern: 17th and 18th centuries

The Courtauld Gallery houses an important collection of 17th-century paintings with works by Claude and Van Dyck. At its heart is a world-class collection of paintings by Rubens, assembled by Count Antoine Seilern. This includes his enchanting Landscape by Moonlight and the tender family portrait of his friend Jan Brueghel the Elder. The collection features examples of Ruben’s sketches and preparatory works, such as The Descent from the Cross, which offer unique insights into the mind of this great Baroque master.

The 18th-century collection features fine examples of English portraiture, including Gainsborough’s mesmerising portrait of his wife and the only full-length portrait by Goya in Britain. One area of the gallery is devoted to an extraordinary collection of oil sketches by the last great Venetian painter, Tiepolo.

Middle Ages and Renaissance

The Courtauld Gallery ’s collection of Italian 14th and early 15th-century paintings is one of the most important in Britain and includes works by Bernardo Daddi, Giotto’s greatest pupil, and Fra Angelico, the renowned monk painter of 15th century Florence.

Unusually, the collection is also strong in northern European art of this period. The jewel of these displays is the Lamentation Triptych by the Master of Flemalle, one of the first northern painters to work in a naturalistic and illusionistic manner. The triptych is now considered to be one of the greatest masterpieces of early Netherlandish painting.

The Courtauld’s Renaissance collection comprises important paintings from both Italy and northern Europe. It includes one of the few altarpieces by Botticelli to be housed in a museum collection together with works by Venetian masters such as Lorenzo Lotto and Tintoretto. Highlights of the northern schools include one Cranach’s greatest and most alluring paintings Adam and Eve, and two rare panels by Pieter Brueghel the Elder.

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