The Wilson holds a collection of pictures and sculptures spanning five centuries, from the Renaissance to the present day. The artists represented are mostly British, with the notable exception of a group of paintings from Belgium and the Netherlands from the 17th and 19th centuries.
The fine art collection originates with the bequest, in 1898, of over forty important paintings, particularly 17th cent Dutch and 19th cent Belgian, by the former MP for Cheltenham, and art collector, Baron de Ferrieres. The collection has grown significantly over the years illustrating British painting from the 17th century onward. It is a representative collection of works by Gloucestershire artists and depictions of the county of Gloucestershire, but also represents recent art trends. The collection comprises both oil paintings and an extensive collection of works on paper which includes an important collection of original prints.
Cheltenham and the Cotswolds have been, and continue to be, home to important artists, and this is reflected in Cheltenham’s collections. These works range from the anonymous painter of the famous Dixton Manor paintings of the 18th century, through the Penley, Riviere, and Armitage families in the nineteenth century, to William Rothenstein, Alfred Thornton, Stanley Anderson, and the Gere family in the earlier twentieth century to more modern artists such as James Tucker, Michael Dinkel, John Hoskin, Lynn Chadwick, and Bridget Riley. In terms of Gloucestershire collectors of significance the gallery has examples of works formerly in the de Ferrieres, Whinyates and Northwick collections.
You can see the fine art collection in the dedicated Friends Gallery, which has changing displays, and throughout the museum’s galleries. The oil painting collection is currently searchable online through Art UK.
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Baron de Ferrières's Collection
The Baron de Ferrières’s collection at The Wilson includes 17th - 19th century Dutch and Belgian painting.
Highlights of the Baron de Ferrières Collection
The paintings given by the third Baron de Ferrieres (1823-1908) in 1899 form the core of The Wilson's fine art...
The Dixton Manor paintings
The Wilson holds two paintings which show the manor house and the life of the manor in the early 18th century.