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European Art

VMFA’s European Art collection includes more than 10,000 objects in all media—including paintings, sculptures, decorative arts, and works on paper—dating from the early medieval period to the mid-20th century.

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Highlights

An excellent survey collection, VMFA’s European art holdings include Mellon Collections of British sporting art, French 19th-century art, jewelry and objects by Jean Schlumberger, and American equestrian painting; the Gans Collection of English silver with more than one hundred objects by noted London craftsmen; an important group of animal bronzes by Antoine-Louis Barye; and the extensive print collection of Frank Raysor.

Mellon Collections on Tour

The esteemed French Impressionist Art and British Sporting Art collections at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be embarking on national and international tours during the next two years, creating opportunities for more people to view these important paintings and sculptures that were donated to the museum by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon.

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Collections

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Impressionism & 19th Century Art

The Mellon Collections comprise masterpieces and key works of French art representing every important movement and artist from Romanticism to the School of Paris, with deep holdings of Edgar Degas (Off view 2018 – 2020). A separate gallery is devoted to Academic art of the 19th century containing important works by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, Franz Xaver Winterhalter, and Gustave Doré among others.



Old Master Painting

A comprehensive survey of European Old Master painting containing important works from the Italian Renaissance and Baroque eras, noteworthy 17th-century Netherlandish paintings, and significant British and Continental works from the 18th-century.



Medieval Works of Art

Highlights include a window from Canterbury Cathedral and other stained glass, French stone sculpture from the Romanesque and Gothic periods, and important groups of medieval ivories and metalwork.



Sculpture & Decorative Arts

Highlights include the comprehensive, internationally known Gans Collections of English silver, and the superb St. Clair Collection of French 19th-century animal sculptures by Antoine-Louis Barye (with special holdings of unique casts and models), as well as numerous individual masterpieces incorporated within other European gallery installations.



Works on Paper, Prints, & Drawings

A developing collection that has recently been greatly enlarged and enhanced by the Frank Raysor Collection – a generous ongoing, promised gift to VMFA. This collection has especially deep holdings in works from the French, American, and British etching revival and one of the world’s most important holdings of prints by Baroque etcher Wenceslaus Hollar.



British Sporting Art

One of the world’s most important dedicated displays of British Sporting Art, with deep holdings of George Stubbs, James Seymour, John Wootton, and John Frederick Herring among others. (Traveling nationally 2018 – 2019)