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European Art

European artworks from the medieval to the early modern period comprise one of the Museum’s most substantial holdings, with particular strengths in medieval sculpture, early Italian Renaissance panel painting, and 17th-century Dutch and Italian painting. Significant gifts from collector Caroline R. Hill dramatically enhanced this area in the 1950s and 1960s including a pinnacle panel from Duccio’s iconic Maestà altarpiece. The Museum’s collection also saw noteworthy growth under the visionary stewardship of Wendy Watson, the Museum’s curator from 1974 to 2015. Watson facilitated the acquisition of a number of remarkable European paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, such as a late French Gothic sculpture of the Virgin and Child; an exquisite Sienese cassone (wedding chest) depicting the death of Lucretia; an important Italian Renaissance altarpiece by Bartolomeo di Giovanni; a richly iconographic 17th-century Dutch vanitas painting; and a majestic Neoclassical landscape by French master Pierre Henri de Valenciennes, among other major gifts and purchases.


Duccio, Angel (Pinnacle from the Maestà altarpiece), ca. 1308-1311
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