Middle ages and Renaissance, Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

This section begins with a French set of ivories 14th century illuminated manuscripts and books, followed by a selection of sculptures and paintings from the 15th to the 18th century . The Flemish school is represented by Jean de Liege , Rogier van der Weyden and Dirk Bouts . Italian artists are illustrated by Domenico Ghirlandaio (Portrait of a young girl) , views of Vittore Carpaccio , Giovanni Battista Moroni . The xvii th century is mainly represented by painters of the North: Frans Hals , Jacob van Ruisdael and finally, Rembrandt (Portrait of old man) and Pierre Paul Rubens with Portrait of Helene Fourment that Gulbenkian acquired in 1925 at the Hermitage Museum of Leningrad at a time when the Soviet government, fond of exchange, sold the collections gathered by Catherine II of Russia.

The European art of the Renaissance period is illustrated by tapestries from Mantua and Brussels, by a small collection of valuable medals, including a considerable collection of works by Pisanello , by a limited number of printed books, as well as only by a set of sculptures among which we distinguish the works of Antonio Rossellino and Andrea della Robbia .

Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation was created in 1956 by the last will and testament of Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian, a philanthropist of Armenian origin who lived in Lisbon between 1942 and the year of his death, 1955.

Established in perpetuity, the Foundation’s main purpose is to improve the quality of life through art, charity, science and education. The Foundation directs its activities from its headquarters in Lisbon and its delegations in Paris and London, with support provided by Portugal in Portuguese-speaking African Countries (PALOP) and East Timor, as well as in countries with Armenian Communities.

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The Foundation has a museum, which houses the Founder’s private collection, alongside a collection of modern and contemporary art; an orchestra and a choir; an art library and archive; a scientific research institute; and a garden, in a central area of the city of Lisbon, where educational activities also take place.

In conjunction with cultural activities, the Foundation fulfils its mission through innovative programmes that develop pilot projects and support, by providing scholarships and grants for other institutions and social organisations.

Founder’s Collection
The building that houses the Founder’s Collection was designed by the architects Ruy Jervis d’Athouguia, Pedro Cid and Alberto Pessoa (1969) to accommodate around six thousand pieces amassed by Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian. It is located in the north of the Gulbenkian garden.

The galleries of this building are home to displays of around a thousand pieces divided into groups corresponding to Egyptian art, Greco-Roman art, Mesopotamia, the Islamic Orient, Armenia, the Far East and, where Western art is concerned, sculpture, the art of the book, painting, eighteenth-century French decorative arts, and works by René Lalique. The collection of works by René Lalique, which Calouste Gulbenkian purchased directly from the artist, is considered to be unique in the world for its quality and quantity.