About the Collections
From gilded icons of the Italian Renaissance to one of the largest collections of Monets outside of Paris, the MFA has artwork by highly celebrated artists, including Titian, Dürer, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Gauguin, and Renoir. Ranging in date from the seventh century to the late twentieth century, the collection of over 22,000 artworks includes masterpieces by some of the greatest artists in history. Paintings on canvas, panel, ivory, copper, and in fresco are matched by sculpture and works of decorative art, including furniture, metalwork, ceramics and glass, and architectural elements.
The MFA's collections of European decorative arts and sculpture are among the largest and most significant in the United States. Boston's unsurpassed collections of English silver and porcelain are complemented by historically significant collections of French decorative arts of the eighteenth century. The sculpture holdings feature masterworks from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, as well as fine examples from the seventeenth to early twentieth centuries. In recent years, the collections of nineteenth-century and contemporary decorative arts have grown steadily.
The collection of approximately 1,600 European paintings includes masterpieces of Dutch, English, French, Italian, and Spanish art, with great depth in nineteenth-century French works by Barbizon, Impressionist, and post-Impressionist artists. In particular, the MFA holds one of the largest groups of paintings by Claude Monet outside of Paris, and the world's most extensive collection of paintings and pastels by Jean-François Millet.
The department acknowledges with gratitude The Getty Research Institute's Provenance Index, which helped in early stages of gathering provenance information for European paintings.