The Art Gallery of NSW boasts a distinguished and extensive collection of British Victorian art, along with smaller but impressive holdings of Dutch, French and Italian painters of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, and an excellent collection of modern British masters and European modernists. Key names in art history are represented, from Peter Paul Rubens to Pablo Picasso.
In the early years of the Gallery, our works from abroad were acquired soon after they were painted, often from the annual Royal Academy exhibition in London or the Paris Salon. With the help of benefactor James Fairfax, we have added to our holdings of British Victorian art, including major works by Lord Frederic Leighton and Sir Edward John Poynter; Dutch, French and Italian painters from the 17th and 18th centuries, such as Peter Paul Rubens and Canaletto; and Italian Mannerist paintings, including works by Agnolo Bronzino, Domenico Beccafumi and Nicolò dell’Abate. At the Gallery, these hang in our Grand Courts along with work by Eugène Delacroix, John Constable, Ford Madox Brown, Vincent van Gogh, Auguste Rodin, Claude Monet, Paul Cézanne and Camille Pissarro. British art of the 20th century occupies a significant place in the collection together with major European figures such as Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Alberto Giacometti and Giorgio Morandi.