Museu Calouste Gulbenkian
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (April 2014)|
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian (Calouste Gulbenkian Museum) is a museum in Lisbon, Portugal, containing a collection of ancient, and some modern, art. The museum was founded according to Calouste Gulbenkian's last will, in order to accommodate and display Gulbenkian's art collection belonging now to the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
The permanent exhibition galleries are distributed in chronological and geographical order to create two independent circuits within the overall tour.
The first circuit highlights Greco-Roman art from classical antiquity and art from the ancient Near East including Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Persian and Armenian art as well as Persian art from the Islamic period.
The second circuit covers European art with sections dedicated to the art of the book, sculpture, painting and the decorative arts, particularly 18th century French art and the work of René Lalique. In this circuit, a wide-ranging number of pieces reflect various European artistic trends from the beginning of the 11th century to the mid-20th century.
Renaissance art produced in Holland, Flanders, France and Italy is on display in the next room. French 18th century decorative arts have a special place in the museum with outstanding gold and silver objects and furniture, as well as paintings and sculptures. These decorative arts are followed by galleries exhibiting a large group of paintings by the Venetian Francesco Guardi, 18th and 19th century English paintings, and finally a superb collection of jewels and glass by René Lalique, displayed in its own room.
The museum is one of the lesser known jewels in Europe. Gulbenkian's motto was "Only the best", and hence the museum has masterpieces by western European artists such as Domenico Ghirlandaio, Rubens, Rembrandt, Rodin, Carpeaux, Houdon, Renoir, Dierick Bouts, Vittore Carpaccio, Cima da Conegliano, Van Dyck, Corot, Degas, Nattier, George Romney, Stefan Lochner, Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, Édouard Manet, Henri Fantin-Latour, Claude Monet, Jean-François Millet, Sir Edward Burne-Jones, Thomas Gainsborough, Joseph Mallord William Turner, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, Giovanni Battista Moroni, Frans Hals, Ruisdael, Boucher, Largillière, Andrea della Robbia, Pisanello, Jean-Baptiste Pigalle, Antonio Rossellino, André-Charles Boulle, Charles Cressent, Oeben, Riesener, Antoine-Sébastien Durand, Charles Spire, Jean Deforges, François-Thomas Germain, and many others.
Some of the works in the collection were bought during the Soviet sale of Hermitage paintings.
Of the about 6000 items in the museum's collections a selection of around 1000 is in permanent exhibition.
The museum is located within a landscaped park, at the intersection of Av. de Berna and Av. António Augusto de Aguiar, in Lisbon.
- Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. 1972. Persian art: Calouste Gulbenkian Collection. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.
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