ABOUT THE COLLECTION
Comprised of painting and sculpture made in Europe between 1000 and 1900, the AGO’s European collection contains highlights from the Middle Ages to the Italian Renaissance and beyond.
Sculpture is a collection strength, with the Ken Thomson Collection of European Art representing the richest grouping of small scale sculpture in North America. Including a remarkable collection of ivory works made in France between 1200 and the 1400s, these pieces provide a glimpse into medieval artistic communities and production methods.
Italian art from the 1300s is another highlight, with works by Nino Pisano and Giovanni del Biondo. A strong grouping of Northern Renaissance painting and sculpture, including the largest collection of devotional boxwood carvings in the world, sheds light onto artistic practices in the Netherlands during the 1500s.
The 1600s in Italy are well represented in the collection, which houses two of Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s major sculptures: the Corpus and a portrait bust of Pope Gregory XV. The Margaret and Ian Ross collection of bronze sculpture and medals supports the Italian Baroque holdings and is one of the most significant bronze collections in North America. Other strengths include Rembrandt’s Lady with the Lap Dog and Hals’ Isaak Massa, Dutch paintings produced in the 1600s.
From the 1700s, the AGO houses Chardin’s Jar of Apricots, Gainsborough’s The Harvest Wagon and Pio’s sculpture of St. Jerome, donated by the family of Murray Frum to the European sculpture collection. Auguste Rodin’s sculpture is another highlight, as seen through the large-scale sculpture of Adam and the marble sculpture of Eve. Also produced in the 1800s, the AGO’s Impressionist and academic French painting is a collection strength, highlighted through works by Degas, Tissot, Gaugin, and Monet.