In April 1899, Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian acquired his first painting. Between then and 1953, the year in which he added the last canvas to his collection, over half a century elapsed. The range of works contained in this section of the collection spans almost five hundred years of art history and reveals a particularly eclectic taste, something that in fact extends to the great diversity of works exhibited at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.
A dominant theme of the set of two hundred and twenty-nine paintings acquired and kept by the Collector, of which more than half are in storage, is the special interest that he had for portrait and landscape painting, genres that are given particular preponderance in the exhibition open to the public at the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon since 2 October 1969. The one hundred and twelve paintings on permanent exhibition in the museum’s galleries, which are published in full here, confirm this preference.
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