Rembrandt, Van Dyck, Gainsborough: The Treasures of Kenwood House, London introduces us to one of the greatest private art collections in Europe, assembled in the astonishingly short period of three years. In some ways Edward Cecil Guinness exemplifies the rise of a new kind of British collector, one not born into the aristocracy but who amassed a personal fortune based on spectacular business success.
This exhibition, focusing on a great collector of the 19th century, also presents the perfect moment to reveal some of the extraordinary collecting of European painting that has been quietly taking place in Seattle over the last 20 years. European Masters: The Treasures of Seattle features 34 paintings, all from local collections, which will share the special exhibition galleries with the 48 paintings from Kenwood House. The paired exhibitions will give visitors the opportunity to observe different approaches to collecting, the history of taste, and how the market has changed since Lord Iveagh began to form his collection in 1887. Most importantly, our visitors will have the chance to see exceptional works of art from right here in Seattle, which, until this moment, has largely overlooked the art of Europe. Featured artists include Vittore Carpaccio, Francisco de Zurbarán, J.A.D. Ingres, Eugène Delacroix, and Frans Hals.