European and American Art Before 1900

Claude Monet

French, 1840-1926

Le Bassin des Nympheas

1904

Oil paint on canvas

Funds from Helen Dill bequest, 1935.14

Claude Monet

French, 1840-1926

Waterloo Bridge

1903

Oil paint on canvas

Funds from Helen Dill bequest, 1935.15

Camille Pissarro

French, 1830-1903

Autumn, Peupliers, Éragny (Autumn, Poplars, Éragny)

1894

Oil paint on canvas

Funds from Helen Dill bequest, 1935.16

Camille Pissarro

French, 1830-1903

Bords de l’Oise a Pontoise (Banks of the Oise at Pontoise)

1867

Oil paint on canvas

Gift of the Barnett and Annalee Newman Foundation in honor of Annalee G. Newman, 2001.310

Edgar Hilaire Degas

French, 1834-1917

Examen de Danse (Dance Examination)

1880

Pastel on paper

Anonymous Gift, 1941.6

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione

Italian, 1609-1664

Deucalion and Pyrrha

1655

Oil paint on canvas

Funds from T. Edward and Tullah Hanley and Mr. and Mrs. Carl M. Williams by exchange, 1998.39

Attributed to Girolamo da Cremona

Italian, active 1451-1483

The Triumphs of Love, Chastity and Death

About 1460

Oil paint on panel

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.169.1

These panels probably belonged on a cassone (marriage chest). The imagery comes from a popular poem by Petrarch (1304–74), in which Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Divinity appear in succession, and each one vanquishes the one before. (Divinity, of course, trumps all.) The figures on top of the chariots, the animals that pull them, and even the surrounding landscapes provide clues to each panel’s theme. This particular chest celebrated the marriage between a bride of the Gonzaga family, Mantua’s ruling dynasty (whose crest is on the building in the background of the Chastity panel) and a groom of the powerful Sforza family, Dukes of Milan (whose crest is on the building in the background of Fame).

Attributed to Girolamo da Cremona

Italian, active 1451-1483

The Triumphs of Fame, Time, and Divinity

About 1460

Oil paint on panel

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.169.2

These panels probably belonged on a cassone (marriage chest). The imagery comes from a popular poem by Petrarch (1304–74), in which Love, Chastity, Death, Fame, Time, and Divinity appear in succession, and each one vanquishes the one before. (Divinity, of course, trumps all.) The figures on top of the chariots, the animals that pull them, and even the surrounding landscapes provide clues to each panel’s theme. This particular chest celebrated the marriage between a bride of the Gonzaga family, Mantua’s ruling dynasty (whose crest is on the building in the background of the Chastity panel) and a groom of the powerful Sforza family, Dukes of Milan (whose crest is on the building in the background of Fame).

Maria van Oosterwyck

Dutch, 1630-1693

Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase

About 1670s

Oil paint on canvas

Funds by exchange from T. Edward and Tullah Hanley in honor of longtime director, Otto Bach and his wife Cile Bach, 1997.219

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo

Spanish, 1619-1682

Portrait of Don Diego Félix de Esquivel y Aldama

About 1665-60

Oil paint on canvas

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.67

Don Diego Félix de Esquivel y Aldama did not live past his thirty-first year of age—he died in 1659, shortly after becoming mayor of Vitoria, his native town. Like his father and brother, he joined the Order of Santiago, whose symbol, an elegant red cross with the lower section in the shape of a sword, appears prominently on his chest, cape, and behind the crest in the upper right corner of the painting. In the Denver full-length portrait, Don Diego is depicted against a neutral background with only a chair to define the interior space. His full-length, frontal standing pose and his attire reveal the formal intent of this portrait, which may have been commissioned upon his acceptance in December 1652 into the Order of Santiago, given the prominence of the emblem, or his election to mayor of Vitoria around 1658–59.

Bartolomé Esteban Murillo was baptized in Seville on January 1, 1618, and spent his entire life in his native city except for a brief sojourn in Madrid in 1658. Although he was only in Madrid for about eight months, from April to December, his stay proved fruitful for his artistic development. His acquaintance with Velázquez and the exposure to the art in royal and private collections, with artworks by master colorists such as Rubens, Titian, and Van Dyck, greatly influenced Murillo and his style.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Italian, 1527-1593

Summer

1572

Oil paint on canvas

Funds from Helen Dill bequest, 1961.56

Bartel Beham

German, 1502-1540

Portrait of a Woman

1529

Oil paint on panel

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.180

Vittore Carpaccio

Italian, about 1465 - 1525/1526

Portrait of a Lady with a Book

About 1495

Oil paint on panel

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.168

The lady holding a book is believed to be the poet Girolama Corsi Ramos. This painting by Vittore Carpaccio inspired her to write a sonnet praising the artist, “who from a piece of wood would make a living thing.”

Girolama Corsi was of Tuscan origin but married a member of the Spanish Ramos family and moved to Venice and Padua. The Denver panel is accepted as one of the few certain portraits by Vittore Carpaccio and is counted among his later production. Active primarily in Venice, the artist left memorable examples of his talent for anecdotal narrative and poetical interpretation in that city, such as the cycle painted for the Scuola di Sant’Orsola, a series of canvases depicting the legend of Saint Ursula, which is now in the Accademia in Venice.

In 2009 the Portrait of a Lady with a Book underwent a surface cleaning, which removed the old varnish that had been responsible for the overall yellowish and subdued tonalities and brought back to life Carpaccio’s color subtleties, a tribute to his Venetian artistic citizenship.

Thomas Cole

American, 1801-1848

Dream of Arcadia

About 1838

Oil paint on canvas

Gift of Mrs. Lindsey Gentry, 1954.71

Winslow Homer

American, 1836-1910

Two Figures by the Sea

1882

Oil paint on canvas

Funds from Helen Dill bequest, 1935.8

Willard Leroy Metcalf

American, 1858-1925

The Ten Cent Breakfast

1887

Oil paint on canvas

Gift of T. Edward and Tullah Hanley Collection, 1974.418

English Artist

The Crucifixion

About 1395

Oil on panel

Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, TL-18011

The Crucifixion was painted about 1395 by an unknown artist believed to have been working in England. Likely made as an altarpiece for a Roman Catholic Church, it is a rare survivor of Henry VIII’s dissolution of monasteries and abbeys that resulted in the loss of nearly all of the more than 30,000 altarpieces that once hung in late-medieval English churches. Jesus is shown nailed to the cross, wearing a crown of thorns. In the foreground at left is the Virgin Mary, her swooning body supported by one of the Holy Women. Behind the Virgin the beardless figure of St. John the Evangelist gazes up at Jesus while reaching out to support Mary. In the foreground at right stands a Roman centurion, depicted as a fashionable fourteenth-century gentleman. The picture was painted in the International Style, so named because of its wide popularity throughout Europe and England in the late Middle Ages. The elegant, refined style was characterized by slender, graceful figures and attention to luxurious materials – fabrics, jewels, and gold.

George Stubbs

English, 1724-1806

A Saddled Bay Hunter

1786

Oil paint on panel

Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, TL-18021

England’s greatest horse painter, George Stubbs first became interested in horses while apprenticing to his father, a leather and hide merchant. Although he began his career as a portraitist in his native Liverpool, Stubbs developed a strong interest in anatomy, both human and equine. He prepared illustrations for a midwifery textbook and, anticipating the major work of his career, dissected and drew dead horses. Settled in London during the 1760s, he published The Anatomy of the Horse. With his knowledge of the horse’s physique he produced startlingly realistic images that soon established him as an animal painter of the first rank. Bay hunters such as the majestic animal portrayed here—with his thick neck, strong body, and short legs—were ideal for traversing rough terrain.

John Singer Sargent

American, 1856-1925

Rosina Ferrara, Head of a Capri Girl

About 1878

Oil paint on cardboard

Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2018.21

Known at the height of his career for large-scale portraits of the most fashionable people of the day, John Singer Sargent painted this intimate study of a young woman named Rosina Ferrara, whom he met on the island of Capri, off the coast of Naples, during the summer of 1878, when he was only twenty-two. Rosina was his most frequent model and muse. He was introduced to her by a fellow artist, Frank Hyde, to whom Sargent inscribed a dedication at the lower right of the picture. More a sketch than a finished painting, it combines careful brushwork in the depiction of Rosina’s delicate features with freely drawn outlines describing her back and upper body.

Overview

The department of European and American art before 1900 oversees the European and American Art Before 1900 collections. The collection includes more than 3,000 artworks and are composed of painting, sculpture, and prints.

The department also curates the internationally renowned Berger Collection of mostly British paintings, drawings, and medieval works of art, as well as a significant collection of predominantly French eighteenth- and nineteenth-century drawings on long-term loan to the museum by a private collector.

During the Martin Building project the European and American art before 1900 galleries are closed. Please view select pieces from the Denver Art Museum’s European and American art before 1900 collection in the cross-departmental exhibition The Light Show.

EXPLORE THE COLLECTION ONLINE:

Browse artworks from the department of painting and sculpture anytime. Check back often for additions and updates.

Highlights

Throughout the years, gifts, bequests, purchases, and acquisitions have shaped the European and American art before 1900 collections, from the early donation of Gustave Courbet’s Valley of the Black Pool in 1930 to the recent 2008 purchase of Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer’s The Dolomites.

The collection features significant French nineteenth-century works and important Renaissance and Old Master paintings, including the Samuel H. Kress collection of 37 paintings and sculptures, gifted to the Denver Art Museum in 1961. The collection also benefited from the bequest of Helen Dill, a Denver schoolteacher whose legacy allowed the purchase of several masterpieces, including Claude Monet’s Waterlilies, Camille Pissarro’s Autumn, Poplars, Éragny and Winslow Homer’s Two Figures by the Sea.

Exhibitions at the DAM

  • Claude Monet
    Exhibition

    Claude Monet

    The Truth of Nature
    Opens October 21, 2019

    The Denver Art Museum will be home to the most comprehensive U.S. exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. The exhibition will feature more than 120 paintings spanning Monet’s entire career and will focus on the celebrated French impressionist artist’s enduring relationship with nature and his response to the varied and distinct places in which he worked. More

  • Treasures of British Art
    Exhibition

    Treasures of British Art

    The Berger Collection
    On View through July 12, 2020

    Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection showcases about 60 paintings gifted to the museum by the Berger Collection Educational Trust (BCET) in 2018. The BCET’s gift is the largest gift of European old masters to the DAM since the museum received the Kress Collection in the 1950s. The exhibition presents a chronological selection of works ranging from the 1400s through the late 1800s, telling the story of Britain’s rich cultural history. More

Related Events

  • Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection Public Tours
    Event: Tours

    Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection Public Tours

    Occurs every day through October 20, 2019. Next Occurs on Thursday, September 19, 2019 - 1:30pm.

    Join a 45-minute public tour of Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection, offered daily at 1:30 pm, March 3 through January 5, 2020. Included with general admission, reservations not required. More

  • Talk at 12 (Wednesday & Friday)
    Event: Tours

    Talk at 12 (Wednesday & Friday)

    Occurs every Wednesday and Friday. Next Occurs on Friday, September 20, 2019 - 12:00pm12:30pm.

    Join a docent for a 30-minute, in-depth look at an aspect of the museum’s collections or something special happening in the galleries. More

  • Art & About Tour
    Event: Access

    Art & About Tours

    Occurs on the second Thursday of every month. Next Occurs on Thursday, October 10, 2019 - 1:00pm2:30pm.

    Art & About tours are designed for visitors with early-stage Alzheimer’s or dementia and their care partners. Themes change monthly. More

  • Claude Monet, Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge, 1899
    Event: Members

    Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature Member Preview

    Friday, October 18, 2019 - 9:00am3:00pm.

    Members see it first! Experience Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, a monumental exhibition of more than 120 paintings which will take visitors on a journey through the places that inspired Monet and his relationship with nature.

    Plus, members enjoy 20% off in The Shop during the Member Preview.

    Purchase your timed-entry tickets to the Member Preview early, as tickets are limited and will likely sell out.

    Ticket quantities are limited by membership level for the Member Preview. More

  • Claude Monet, Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge, 1899
    Event: Members

    Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature Member Preview

    Saturday, October 19, 2019 - 9:00am9:00pm.

    Members see it first! Experience Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, a monumental exhibition of more than 120 paintings which will take visitors on a journey through the places that inspired Monet and his relationship with nature.

    Plus, members enjoy 20% off in The Shop during the Member Preview.

    Purchase your timed-entry tickets to the Member Preview early, as tickets are limited and will likely sell out.

    Ticket quantities are limited by membership level for the Member Preview. More

  • Claude Monet, Water Lilies and Japanese Bridge, 1899
    Event: Members

    Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature Member Preview

    Sunday, October 20, 2019 - 9:00am5:00pm.

    Members see it first! Experience Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, a monumental exhibition of more than 120 paintings which will take visitors on a journey through the places that inspired Monet and his relationship with nature.

    Plus, members enjoy 20% off in The Shop during the Member Preview.

    Purchase your timed-entry tickets to the Member Preview early, as tickets are limited and will likely sell out.

    Ticket quantities are limited by membership level for the Member Preview. More

  • Monet painting of path in wheatfields with ocean and sky in background.
    Event: Members

    Monet Member-Only Tours

    Beginning on October 21, 2019 this will occur every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday through January 31, 2020.

    Members can enjoy docent-led tours of Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature every weekday during the run of the exhibition. More

  • Featured artist Lauri Lynnxe Murphy
    Event: Untitled Final Fridays

    Untitled Final Friday: in/visible

    featuring Lauri Lynnxe Murphy
    Friday, October 25, 2019 - 6:00pm10:00pm.

    October's Untitled event highlights the creative practice of Lauri Lynnxe Murphy, with the theme "in/visible," inspired by The Light Show and Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature. More

  • One of Monet's paintings of water lilies
    Event: Access

    Art & About Tours

    Happy Birthday, Monet!
    Thursday, November 14, 2019 - 1:30pm2:30pm.

    Interpretive specialist Stefania Van Dyke will guide us through some images of Monet’s most famous paintings while we eat cake. More

  • Monet's waterlilies
    Event: Programs & Lectures

    MONET: THE ARTIST & HIS WORLD – Fall/Winter Course

    Session 1: Monet’s Water Lilies: Seeing with the Body (SESSION SOLD OUT)
    Saturday, November 16, 2019 - 2:30pm4:00pm.

    Through the eye, Claude Monet's art appeals directly to bodily senses, causing his viewer to experience far more than merely seeing. More

  • Claude Monet, The House Seen Through the Roses, 1925-26
    Event: Members

    Monet Member Morning 

    Monday, November 18, 2019 - 9:00am10:15am.

    Enjoy these special member-only mornings and see Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature before the museum opens to the public.

    Ticket quantities are limited by membership level for Monet Member Mornings, which are offered on the following dates from 9 to 10:15 am:

    November 18, 2019

    November 30, 2019 (SOLD OUT)

    December 28, 2019

    January 25, 2020 More

  • Claude Monet, The House Seen Through the Roses, 1925-26
    Event: Members

    Monet Member Morning 

    This event is sold out
    Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 9:00am10:15am.

    Enjoy these special member-only mornings and see Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature before the museum opens to the public.

    Ticket quantities are limited by membership level for Monet Member Mornings, which are offered on the following dates from 9 to 10:15 am:

    November 18, 2019

    November 30, 2019 (SOLD OUT)

    December 28, 2019 More

  • MONET: THE ARTIST & HIS WORLD – Fall/Winter Course
    Event: Programs & Lectures

    MONET: THE ARTIST & HIS WORLD – Fall/Winter Course

    Session 2: A Breath of Fresh Air: Embracing Nature in the Urban Environment (SESSION SOLD OUT)
    Saturday, November 30, 2019 - 2:30pm4:00pm.

    In session two of a four-part course, travel to 19th-century Paris, delving into Monet’s representation of the city’s green spaces as well as nearby suburban spaces of outdoor leisure. More

  • MONET: THE ARTIST & HIS WORLD – Fall/Winter Course
    Event: Programs & Lectures

    MONET: THE ARTIST & HIS WORLD – Fall/Winter Course

    Session 3: A Change of Scenery: Monet’s Travels (SESSION SOLD OUT)
    Saturday, December 14, 2019 - 2:30pm4:00pm.

    In session three of a four-part course, chart Monet’s travels through Europe during an era of increasing tourism, and discover the ways in which he made the views he encountered his own. More

  • Thomas Hudson, The Radcliffe Family
    Event: Programs & Lectures

    Mindful Looking

    Thomas Hudson's The Radcliffe Family
    Tuesday, December 17, 2019 - 1:00pm1:45pm.

    Slow down and spend time with one work of art each month. In December, cast a lingering look at The Radcliffe Family. More

  • Actors in Art Emergency: Stampede Edition, an original play at the Denver Art Museum
    Event: Kids & Families

    Art Emergency: Monet Edition

    Family Play—Winter Break 2019
    Beginning on December 23, 2019 11:00am–11:30am this will occur every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday through January 3, 2020, except December 24, 2019, December 25, 2019, and January 1, 2020.

    Join us for Art Emergency, an original family-friendly play series that is performed during winter and spring breaks at the DAM. More

  • Claude Monet, The House Seen Through the Roses, 1925-26
    Event: Members

    Monet Member Morning 

    Saturday, December 28, 2019 - 9:00am10:15am.

    Enjoy these special member-only mornings and see Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature before the museum opens to the public.

    Ticket quantities are limited by membership level for Monet Member Mornings, which are offered on the following dates from 9 to 10:15 am:

    November 18, 2019

    November 30, 2019 (SOLD OUT)

    December 28, 2019

    January 25, 2020 More

  • MONET: THE ARTIST & HIS WORLD – Fall/Winter Course
    Event: Programs & Lectures

    MONET: THE ARTIST & HIS WORLD – Fall/Winter Course

    Session 4: Becoming Monet: Canon Formation in Impressionism and Beyond (SESSION SOLD OUT)
    Saturday, January 11, 2020 - 2:30pm4:00pm.

    In this final session of a four-part course, discover how Monet became synonymous with Impressionism, and learn about the forces that established his reputation during his lifetime and beyond. More

  • Claude Monet, The House Seen Through the Roses, 1925-26
    Event: Members

    Monet Member Morning 

    Saturday, January 25, 2020 - 9:00am10:15am.

    Enjoy these special member-only mornings and see Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature before the museum opens to the public.

    Ticket quantities are limited by membership level for Monet Member Mornings, which are offered on the following dates from 9 to 10:15 am:

    November 18, 2019

    November 30, 2019 (SOLD OUT) More

  • Claude Monet
    Exhibition

    Claude Monet

    The Truth of Nature
    Opens October 21, 2019

    The Denver Art Museum will be home to the most comprehensive U.S. exhibition of Monet paintings in more than two decades. The exhibition will feature more than 120 paintings spanning Monet’s entire career and will focus on the celebrated French impressionist artist’s enduring relationship with nature and his response to the varied and distinct places in which he worked. More

  • Treasures of British Art
    Exhibition

    Treasures of British Art

    The Berger Collection
    On View through July 12, 2020

    Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection showcases about 60 paintings gifted to the museum by the Berger Collection Educational Trust (BCET) in 2018. The BCET’s gift is the largest gift of European old masters to the DAM since the museum received the Kress Collection in the 1950s. The exhibition presents a chronological selection of works ranging from the 1400s through the late 1800s, telling the story of Britain’s rich cultural history. More

News & Stories

  • Pam Skiles and Christoph Heinrich standing in front of a painting of fishing boats placed on an easel
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    Assessing the Varnish on Monet's Fishing Boats

    Watch this video with senior paintings conservator Pam Skiles and DAM director Christoph Heinrich to learn why Monet disliked varnish on his paintings and to hear about some of the considerations that go into conserving paintings at the DAM. More

  • circular portrait of Edward Fiennes de Clinton, 1st Earl of Lincoln, with the words invidia touquet autorem above his head
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    5 Things You’ll Learn at the Tudor Symposium

    September 12, 2019, 9:30 am-6 pm

    The DAM’s department of European and American art before 1900 is hosting an international symposium on portrait painting in Tudor England. Learn more about the groundbreaking research that will be presented and reserve your tickets today. More

  • Monet's painting The Rock Needle Seen Through the Porte d'Aval
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    A Geologist's Take on Monet

    In a recent Monet Moment blog, we heard from senior interpretive specialist Stefania Van Dyke about developing the adult audio tour for Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature (October 21, 2019-February 2, 2020). Stefania mentioned how she interviewed people from outside of the Denver Art Museum as a way to gather unique perspectives on Monet’s paintings. More

  • One of Monet's paintings of water lilies
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    Denver Botanic Gardens' Curator of Aquatic Collections Discusses Monet's Waterlilies 

    Claude Monet’s paintings of his waterlily pond at Giverny are some of his most renowned works. The Denver Art Museum will have a dozen of these paintings on view in Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature (October 21, 2019-February 2, 2020). To prepare for the exhibition, I talked on site with Tamara Kilbane, curator of aquatic collections at the Denver Botanic Gardens, about their Monet Pool. More

  • The words Inside Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature superimposed on a detail of Monet's painting called Waterlilies and Japanese Bridge
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    DAM Curators Discuss Monet's Life & Work 

    In this video, Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director, and Angelica Daneo, Chief Curator, discuss Monet's travels and motifs. Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature opens October 21, 2019. Tickets are now on sale. More

  • Monet Ticket Tips
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    Monet Ticket Tips

    Okay, so you’re totally excited to see Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature at the Denver Art Museum (which opens in October), and you’re eager to buy tickets. Read below for answers to questions about tickets.

    HOW MUCH ARE MONET TICKETS? More

Publications

Recent publications on European and American art that the department has contributed expertise to include:

Department

Current Staff

  • Timothy J. Standring, Gates Family Foundation Curator
  • Angelica Daneo, Chief Curator and Curator of European Art Before 1900
  • Kathleen Stuart, Curator of the Berger Collection
  • Emily Willkom, Curatorial Assistant for Painting & Sculpture
  • Lauren Thompson, Interpretive Specialist