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
    On View through February 2, 2020

    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

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

    Monet Member-Only Tours

    Occurs every Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday through January 31, 2020. Next Occurs on Monday, November 18, 2019.

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

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

    Talk at 12 (Wednesday & Friday)

    Occurs every Wednesday and Friday. Next Occurs on Friday, November 15, 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

  • Young girl in blue and white dress sleeping in a red armchair with a car on her lap
    Event: Programs & Lectures

    Impressionist Cats and Dogs (SOLD OUT)

    with James H. Rubin
    Friday, November 15, 2019 - 2:00pm3:00pm.

    This presentation is sold out.

    Many Impressionist paintings of modern life include household pets. They not only add charm to many pictures, their growing presence as family members alludes to middle-class leisure and prosperity.

    It is not unusual to discover that these often unnoticed domestic denizens complement representations of their owners, alluding to their lives in various ways.

    In some special cases, the devotion of certain artists to their pets reveals aspects of their aims and artistic identity, as well. 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

  • Two visitor walk past Monet title wall
    Event: Members

    Monet Member Morning 

    This event is sold out.
    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 (SOLD OUT)

    November 30, 2019 (SOLD OUT)

    December 28, 2019 (SOLD OUT) More

  • Two visitor walk past Monet title wall
    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 (SOLD OUT)

    November 30, 2019 (SOLD OUT)

    December 28, 2019 (SOLD OUT) 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

  • Art & About Tour
    Event: Access

    Art & About Tours

    Occurs on the second Thursday of every month. Next Occurs on Thursday, December 12, 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

  • painting of Monet's garden and home
    Event: Programs & Lectures

    Monet As a Draftsman: Between Drawing and Pictorial Invention (SOLD OUT)

    with Marianne Mathieu
    Thursday, December 12, 2019 - 6:00pm7:00pm.

    This presentation is sold out.

    The reproduction of fleeting natural impressions played a central role in the art of Claude Monet (1840-1926).

    Like no other Impressionist, he explored the topography and the specific lighting moods of different locations, from the metropolis of Paris to the remote Seine villages of Vétheuil and Giverny.

    This lecture by Marianne Mathieu will explore the evolution of Monet's art from the 1850s to the 1920s with a focus on the places - both at home and on the road - from which he drew inspiration for his painting. 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 25, 2019, December 31, 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

  • Two visitor walk past Monet title wall
    Event: Members

    Monet Member Morning 

    This event is sold out.
    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 (SOLD OUT)

    November 30, 2019 (SOLD OUT)

    December 28, 2019 (SOLD OUT) More

  • Frederic Remington, The Stampede
    Event: Programs & Lectures

    Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington

    A Symposium
    Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - 10:00am5:00pm.

    In anticipation of Natural Forces: Winslow Homer and Frederic Remington (opening March 15, 2020), the Petrie Institute of Western American Art's annual symposium will consider the unlikely pairing of Winslow Homer, known for his depictions of rocky Eastern coastlines, and Frederic Remington, famous for his vision of the American West. 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

  • Two visitor walk past Monet title wall
    Event: Members

    Monet Member Morning 

    This event is sold out.
    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 (SOLD OUT)

    November 30, 2019 (SOLD OUT) More

  • Claude Monet
    Exhibition

    Claude Monet

    The Truth of Nature
    On View through February 2, 2020

    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

  • a man and a woman in the Monet exhibition looking at paintings in gold frames
    Blog: en español

    PLANIFICA TU VISITA A LA EXPOSICIÓN DE MONET

    Aquí encontrarás algunos consejos que te ayudarán a planificar y disfrutar tu visita a Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature (Claude Monet: la verdad de la naturaleza) en el Denver Art Museum. Esperamos verte y darte la bienvenida a esta exposición ¡que solamente podrás visitar en Denver!

    Tu boleto a Monet incluye la entrada general al resto del museo. Lee nuestro blog con consejos sobre boletos para la exposición.

    ¿DÓNDE EMPEZAR? More

  • black and white photo of Claude Monet painting in his studio
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    Celebrate Monet's Birthday at the DAM November 14

    The DAM will celebrate famed French Impressionist Claude Monet’s birthday in conjunction with the exhibition Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature. All Monet birthday celebration activities are included in general admission, which is free for members and youth 18 and younger. The Monet exhibition requires a separate dated and timed ticket. More

  • A man and a woman in front of the title wall that says Monet The Truth of Nature
    Blog: en español

    Monet en Español e Inglés

    El Denver Art Museum (DAM) se enorgullece de ser el único lugar en los Estados Unidos en presentar estas magníficas obras creadas por tan importante artista. El DAM se enorgullece además de que los visitantes hispanohablantes puedan compartir la experiencia y el conocimiento del arte de Monet, puesto que los textos de la exposición están todos ¡también en español! More

  • Mon and child with Shantell Martin interactive wall with words that say FIND WHAT MAKES YOU U INSIDE
    Blog: Kids & Families

    November Family Fun

    What to See & Do this Month at the DAM

    As we celebrate Thanksgiving, our family visitors are one of the things we give thanks for here at the Denver Art Museum! We are so grateful parents and grandparents share their love of art and creativity with kids from littles to teens. This month, we invite you to participate in the following programs. Remember, youth 18 and under enjoy free general admission.

    Discover Something New More

  • gallery view of Claude Monet The Truth of Nature
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    5 Tips for Meandering through the Monumental Monet

    Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature features 124 paintings in three sizable exhibition galleries on two floors—a veritable marathon for the eyes, mind, and imagination. Here are some tips for looking closely and pacing yourself through the large exhibition. More

  • photo from video with Sarah Melching and Angelica Daneo in front of 2 framed Monet pastel artworks on a table in the conservation lab
    Blog: Behind the Scenes

    Video Provides Close Look at Monet Pastels

    In this video Angelica Daneo, Chief Curator and curator of European art before 1900, discusses two Monet chalk pastels made early in the artist's career. And Sarah Melching, Silber Director of Conservation, shows how the museum protects and preserves these artworks with specially engineered glass and microclimate envelopes.

    See these artworks in Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature October 21, 2019-February 2, 2020. The Denver Art Museum is the sole U.S. venue for this exhibition.

    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