"Only the Best": Masterpieces of the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, Libson
Born in Istanbul of Armenian parentage, Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian (1869–1955) became a pioneer in the international oil industry, a philanthropist, and a widely respected art collector. His vast collection—which totaled some five thousand works—included European paintings ranging from the Renaissance to Impressionism, Egyptian sculpture, Roman medals, Islamic ceramics and textiles, illuminated manuscripts, eighteenth-century French furniture and silver, and spectacular jeweled objects by Lalique. The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon opened in 1969 to house this extraordinary collection. The exhibition, which coincides with a major renovation of the Gulbenkian Museum, displays highlights from the collection, including masterpieces of painting by Rubens, Fragonard, Turner, Manet, and Monet.