1772: The acquisition of Baron Pierre Crozat's collection
In 1772 the Museum acquired the notable picture gallery of Antoine Crozat, baron de Thiers, who had died two years earlier. The nucleus of the collection was put together by his uncle, Pierre Crozat, a banker and connoisseur closely connected with the art world. Negotiations with the heirs of baron de Thiers were conducted through the philosophe Denis Diderot and concluded with the acquisition of the whole of the splendid collection. It included such masterpieces as Raphael's Holy Family, Giorgione's Judith, a Danae by Tizian, Danae and The Holy Family by Rembrandt and a Pieta by Paolo Veronese. Two works by Pieter Paul Rubens were also acquired; these are Bacchus and Portrait of a Lady-in-Waiting to the Infanta Isabella. Anthony van Dyck was represented by six portraits, including a self portrait. Along with paintings from the Italian, Flemish, Dutch and Netherlandish schools the collection was rich in works by French artists of the 17th and 18th centuries such as Louis Le Nain, Nicolas Poussin, Pierre Mignard, Nicolas de Largillierre, Antoine Watteau (Actors of the Comedie Francaise), Nicolas Lancret and Jean-Simeon Chardin (The Laundress).
Giorgione (Giorgio da Castelfranco)
Pieter Paul Rubens