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a word on art

The Art of Collecting

Inspired by “Gauguin and the Impressionists, Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard.



“I may just as well confess now that I have been reckless and have made considerable purchases. But I know that I will be forgiven when you see what I have bought” wrote Wilhelm Hansen to his wife Henny in September 1916.

This sentiment is one that that many art enthusiasts, including myself, will have uttered whilst adding to their own collections.


For the Hansen’s, what initially started as a collection of Danish paintings rapidly transformed into the best collection of Impressionist Art in Northern Europe.

Wilhelm Hansen was a self-made Danish businessman and between 1916 and 1918 he sought to add to his Danish art collection by assembling a small but exceptional collection of Impressionist Art, including paintings by Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Camille Pissarro. The Hansen’s also acquired nineteenth-century art, representing the forerunners of the Impressionists, such as Gustave Courbet and artists of the popular Barbizon School, Camille Corot and Charles-François Daubigny. Post-Impressionist artists, notably Paul Gauguin, one of the Hansen’s favourite artists, were also celebrated in their collection.

The Hansen’s commissioned a purpose-built gallery in which to display their French art collection at their country house, called Ordrupgaard, and this opened to the public in 1918. The house and the Hansen’s collection was bequeathed to the Danish state and became a national museum in 1953. It is currently undergoing a vast extension for the French paintings which is why this exquisite collection of art is on display at the Royal Academy until the 18th October 2020.



Whether you have acquired a single still life by Stewart Lees from Gladwell & Patterson or a vast selection of French landscapes by Alexandre Louis Jacob and Georges Robin, all of us at the gallery take great pride in curating and developing your collection further. Our 268 years of experience as experts in fine art allows us to navigate the art world for you, sourcing artworks of the finest quality and best provenance.

The art that we collect, for investment, interest and enjoyment is deeply personal and whilst at present we are spending more time in our homes, the paintings on our walls and sculptures on our sideboards and in our gardens have become more important than ever.

Should you be looking to expand your collection or if your current artworks need a bit of TLC, all of us at Gladwell & Patterson will be delighted to help you curate a collection that will rival the Hansen’s in a hundred years’ time!






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