John Julius Angerstein

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  1. Biography
  2. Philanthropy
  3. The Angerstein Collection

The Angerstein Collection

Angerstein’s collection of 38 paintings formed the nucleus of the National Gallery when it was founded in 1824. He started collecting art about 1790 with help from the painters Thomas Lawrence and Benjamin West.

One of his early purchases, the Rape of the Sabine Women by Rubens, was to prove typical of his collecting habits. He tended towards figure paintings by Raphael, Titian, Correggio, the Carrracci, van Dyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Velázquez and Sebastiano del Piombo, whose Raising of Lazarus (bought at the Orléans Collection sale in 1798) became the highlight of the collection.

In 1794, he bought Aelbert Cuyp’s Hilly Landscape with Figures, one of his more unusual early purchases. Angerstein also liked classical landscapes, a superb example being Claude Lorrain’s Embarkation of the Queen of Sheba.

He was also keen on William Hogarth’s work. He owned the artist’s ‘Self-portrait with a Pug’ (now London, Tate) as well as the ‘Marriage à la Mode series. He also purchased some pictures by Henry Fuseli.