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The Cincinnati Art Museum has a world renowned collection of European paintings, drawings, sculpture and portrait miniatures. Highlights of the painting collection include Renaissance masterpieces by Andrea Mantegna, Titian and Lucas Cranach the Elder, as well as Baroque paintings by Guercino, Peter Paul Rubens and Claude Lorrain. The collection is particularly strong in eighteenth-century British paintings, including one of the finest works by William Hogarth in America as well as treasures by Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough. The museum also has a fine collection of French paintings of the nineteenth century, including landscapes by Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, Gustave Courbet, Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. Modernism is equally well represented, with paintings by André Derain, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Amadeo Modigliani. The drawings collection includes many sheets by the Old Masters and deep holdings in the work of the German nineteenth-century artist Carl Friedrich Lessing. Noteworthy watercolors by Joseph Mallord William Turner and Paul Cézanne are featured, as are important French pastels by Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Rosa Bonheur. European sculpture at the museum spans from medieval times to modernism.
The museum is an essential study center for the art of the portrait miniature, featuring nearly two thousand examples, a reference library and assorted objects that illuminate the art form and its history. The works range in date from the sixteenth through the twentieth centuries and represent the development of miniature painting across Europe, with depth in the artists of the British School. Among the numerous examples of astounding craftsmanship are those by Isaac Oliver, Alexander Cooper, Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Augustin and Richard Cosway.
Dr. Peter Jonathan Bell joined the Cincinnati Art Museum in 2017 as Associate Curator of European Paintings, Sculpture and Drawings. Bell holds degrees from Oberlin College and the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London, and earned a Ph.D. in Art History at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. He has lectured and published in North America and Europe on Renaissance and Baroque art, and is a fellow of the American Academy in Rome. Before coming to Cincinnati, Bell held curatorial positions in the department of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where he organized exhibitions on Italian sculpture and ceramics, and contributed to gallery installations, collections research and acquisitions, particularly in the areas of Spanish and Italian sculpture.