Claude Monet, Path in the Wheat Fields at Pourville, 1882. Oil on canvas; 23 x 30 ¾ in. (58.4 x 77.5 cm). Frederic C. Hamilton Collection, 2016.365

European and American Art Before 1900

Claude Monet, Path in the Wheat Fields at Pourville, 1882. Oil on canvas; 23 x 30 ¾ in. (58.4 x 77.5 cm). Frederic C. Hamilton Collection, 2016.365

Collection Highlights

Claude Monet

Waterlilies or The Water Lily Pond (Nymphéas)

Claude Monet, Waterlilies or The Water Lily Pond, 1904. Oil on canvas; 34 ¾ x 36 in. (87.95 x 91.44 cm). Funds from Helen Dill bequest, 1935.14 
 

Claude Monet

Path in the Wheat Fields at Pourville (Chemin dans les blés à Pourville)

Claude Monet, Path in the Wheat Fields at Pourville, 1882. Oil on canvas; 23 x 30 ¾ in. (58.4 x 77.5 cm). Frederic C. Hamilton Collection, 2016.365

Berthe Morisot

The Lesson in the Garden (La Leçon au jardin)

Berthe Morisot, The Lesson in the Garden (La leçon dans le jardin), 1886. Oil paint on canvas; 23 9/16 x 28 ¾ in. 
Collection of Frederic C. Hamilton, bequeathed to the Denver Art Museum

 

 

Edgar Hilaire Degas

Dance Examination (Examen de Danse)

Edgar Degas, Dance Examination (Examen de Danse), 1880. Pastel on paper;
24 1/2 × 18 in. (62.2 × 45.7 cm). Anonymous Gift, 1941.6

British artist

The Crucifixion

This picture of the Crucifixion of Jesus dates from a time when England was Roman Catholic. It is one of very few paintings to survive the widespread destruction of religious imagery following Henry VIII’s establishment of the Church of England. Painted on a panel of oak wood, its small size suggests it was made as an altarpiece for a private chapel or for personal devotion. 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.

British artist 
The Crucifixion, about 1395
Tempera and oil paint with gilded tin relief on oak panel 
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2020.7

John Singer Sargent

Rosina Ferrara, Head of a Capri Girl

John Singer Sargent 
American, 1856–1925
Rosina Ferrara, Head of a Capri Girl, 1878   
Oil on cardboard 
Signed, inscribed, and dated by the artist at lower right, To my friend Hyde / souvenir of / John S. Sargent / Capri 1878. 
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2018.21

John Singer Sargent painted this intimate study of Rosina Ferrara, whom he met on the island of Capri, off the coast of Naples, Italy, when he was just twenty-two. She briefly became his most frequent model, the subject of numerous sketches and finished paintings. Rosina’s southern European looks appealed to Sargent – his biographer Evan Charteris described her as “a magnificent type, about seventeen years of age, her complexion a rich nut-brown, with a mass of blue-black hair, very beautiful” – but here she emerges not as an object but as a fully human person. 

John Singer Sargent 
American, 1856–1925 
Rosina Ferrara, Head of a Capri Girl, 1878 
Oil paint on cardboard 
Signed, inscribed, and dated by the artist at lower right, To my friend Hyde / souvenir of / John S. Sargent / Capri 1878. 
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2018.21 

Thomas Cole

Dream of Arcadia

Thomas Cole, Dream of Arcadia, about 1838. Oil on canvas; 38 5/8 × 62 3/4 in. (98.1 × 159.4 cm). Gift of Mrs. Lindsey Gentry, 1954.71

Bernardo Zenale

Madonna and Child with Saints

Bernardo Zenale, Madonna and Child with Saints, about 1510.  Oil paint and tempera paint on panel; 71 x 48 1/2 in. Denver Art Museum: Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, 1961.173

 

Maria van Oosterwyck

Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase

Maria van Oosterwyck, Bouquet of Flowers in a Vase, about 1670s. Oil paint on canvas; 29 x 22 in. Funds by exchange from T. Edward and Tullah Hanley in honor of longtime director, Otto Bach and his wife Cile Bach, 1997.219

Hans Holbein the Younger, studio

Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VI)

This portrait of Henry VIII’s only son, Edward (1537-1553), by his third wife, Jane Seymour, was painted when the boy was about fourteen months old. Although no more than a toddler, Edward is portrayed as a small adult, standing in an adult pose, wearing adult dress, his right hand raised in the gesture of an orator. When Henry died in 1547, Edward became king at age nine, ruling in name only under the guidance of a council of advisors. This picture was painted by the German-born artist Hans Holbein the Younger, whose arrival in London in 1532 swept away the medieval-looking portrait style then current in England.

Hans Holbein the Younger and studio, Edward, Prince of Wales (later Edward VI), about 1538. Oil paint on panel; 22 3/4 × 17 in. (57.8 × 43.2 cm). Promised Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, TL-17310

See more European and American art

Browse objects from the European and American art collection in our online collection.

Department History

The department of European and American Art before 1900, as it is now known, started as two distinct departments in 1947, consisting of Mediterranean and European art, and American art. After little to no change in the structure of the curatorial departments for the following 40 years, in 1989 then-newly appointed director, Lewis I. Sharp urged a reorganization of the curatorial division. This resulted in the formation of a separate modern and contemporary department, now caring for artworks created after 1945, while a newly formed painting and sculpture department was charged with stewarding European and American art, from Antiquities to collections created prior to 1945. Most recently, in 2019, to better reflect the nature of the collections, the department was renamed European and American Art before 1900.

Throughout the decades, a number of curators and scholars have contributed to shape the department’s collections, exhibitions and publications. The Denver Art Museum would not be where it is without their thoughtful leadership and expertise. Past curators include, most recently, Dr. Timothy J. Standring, our longstanding Gates Family Foundation Curator, Berger Collection Curator and department head from 1989 to 2020: his long and successful tenure is reflected in the numerous groundbreaking exhibitions, scholarly publications and acquisitions he spearheaded. Kathleen Stuart, our Berger Collection Curator from 2007 to 2019; Ann Daley, our American art curator and associate curator for the Petrie Institute of Western art from 1977 to 2001; Lauretta Dimmick, the first Gates Foundation Curator and curator of American art from 1990 to 1997; David Park Curry, curator of American art from 1983 to 1989; and (Claire) Cameron Wolfe, associate curator of European art from 1973 to 1984. The department is currently led by Angelica Daneo, chief curator and curator of European art before 1900.

Publications

Recent publications on European and American art includes:

Angelica Daneo, Christoph Heinrich, Michael Philipp and Ortrud Westheider, eds., Claude Monet: The Truth of Nature, exhibition catalog, Prestel Publishing, 2019.

Timothy J. Standring and Jaco Rutgers, Rembrandt As Printmaker, exhibition catalog, Yale University Press, 2018.

Angelica Daneo and Giovanna Damiani, Glory of Venice: Masterworks of the Renaissance, exhibition catalog, Denver Art Museum, 2015.

Timothy J. Standring, Wyeth: Andrew and Jamie in the Studio, exhibition catalog, Yale University Press, 2015.

Christoph Heinrich, Nature as Muse, Inventing Impressionist Landscape, Denver Art Museum, 2014.

Timothy J. Standring, Daniel Sprick’s Fictions, exhibition catalog, University of New Mexico Press, 2014.

Kathleen Stuart, Treasures of British Art 1400—2000: The Berger Collection, exhibition catalog, Denver Art Museum, 2014

Angelica Daneo, Companion to European Painting before 1800, Denver Art Museum, 2013.

Timothy J. Standring and Martin Clayton, Castiglione: Lost Genius, exhibition catalog, University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Kathleen Stuart, Master Drawings: The Collection of Esmond Bradley Martin, Denver Art Museum, 2013.

Timothy J. Standring and Louis van Tilborgh, eds., Becoming Van Gogh, exhibition catalog, Yale University Press, 2012.

Angelica Daneo, The Kress Collection at the Denver Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, 2011.

Lush green painting of the English countryside

Edward Lear (English, 1812–1888), Nuneham, 1860. Oil paint on canvas. Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2018.22.

The Berger Collection

The Berger Collection at the Denver Art Museum comprises 65 British artworks gifted to the museum in 2018 by the Berger Collection Educational Trust (BCET), owner of the collection since 1999. More than 60 of these paintings are currently on view in Treasures of British Art: The Berger Collection.

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Membership and Museum Friends

Membership at the Denver Art Museum not only provides you discounts and access, but also the satisfaction of knowing your support helps us preserve and share art with present and future generations. Become a member today and see just how much the museum has to offer!

Are you interested in a specific type of art, while also enjoying opportunities to participate across the museum? If so, consider deepening your support by adding Museum Friends to your membership. Museum Friends enjoy access to free lectures, a deeper dive into a department of interest, and invitations to social gatherings for that department of interest.

Lit up hallway of the newly renovated Martin Building

The Martin Building Project

The gallery for this collection is closed during the Martin Building renovation project. Standing seven stories tall, the Martin Building will house collection galleries, a conservation laboratory, interactive classroom space, a family activity center, two restaurants, and the brand new Anna and John J. Sie Welcome Center.