The collection of West European painting at the National Art Museum of Moldova represents the painting schools of Italy, Flanders, Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain etc. The first art pieces entered the museum collection in 1945 when they were transferred from the Rădăuţi museum as well as from the other important museums of Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Beginning with 1946 museum’s collection was accomplished by means of acquisitions and donations (donation of Pavel Şilingovschi, 1947). Thus, at present National Art Museum of Moldova owns a collection of world painting that comprises 235 artworks from 15th-20th centuries.
The earliest works are those from the Italian Renaissance and Northern Renaissance periods. These are paintings with biblical subjects – Flight to Egypt, Holy Family with John the Baptist, Saint Catherine by Bernardino Luini, Venus in the Forgery of Vulcan by Jan Brueghel etc.
The compositions with biblical and mythological subjects, the landscape, the portrait and still life are the prevailing genres. The paintings of French artists from the school of Vatto and Pierre Gobert, of the English George Morland and Godfrey Kneller, of the German Balthasar Denner, Broderix, Georg Philipp Rugendas obviously pertain to the styles of the 18th century – Classicism and Rococo.
The 19th century, as the previous époques, is well presented in the museum’s collection in the works of French and German artists who created landscapes and portraits in the Sentimentalist, Realist, Biedermeier and Romantic styles.
Thus, the collection of West European paintings at the National Art Museum of Moldova offers the public the opportunity to explore the artistic universe of the 15th-20th centuries.