Donations and acquisitions
The Sinebrychoff Art Museum has the largest and most valuable collection of old European art in Finland. Our collection includes approximately 6500 national treasures; works of art that we all own together. The oldest works date from the late Middle Ages, but the focus of the collection is on post-Renaissance art extending to the mid-19th century.
The collection is the result of donations from several collectors and subsequent additions through the museum’s own acquisitions.
The most important feature is the Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff house museum. The donation by the Sinebrychoffs to the Finnish state in 1921 was unique in the Finnish context. In addition to the valuable collection of art, the donation included antique furniture, porcelain pieces, and objects from the couple’s beautiful residence.
There were no significant collections of art in Finland in the early 19th century. In this light, the art collection of Baron Otto Wilhelm Klinckowström (1778–1850) is famous for a reason. After Klinckowström’s death, the grand duke of Russia and the emperor-to-be Alexander II purchased the most significant works in the collection and donated them to the newly established Finnish Art Society. The origins of the collection of the current Finnish National Gallery can be traced back to this donation.
The Finnish Art Society purposefully expanded its art collection over the following decades. Although most of the acquisitions constituted Finnish art, some pieces of art from outside Finland were occasionally added to the collection, as well.
Glory to the collectors
In the late 19th century, only a few wealthy individuals engaged in collecting foreign art. Art was acquired on trips abroad or from auctions. Chamberlain Hjalmar Linder did not make random acquisitions but focused on high-quality works of art. Thanks to him, the museum’s collection includes Finland’s only Rembrandt.
Old European art also found its way to Finland from Russia. After the Russian Revolution, many private collections were dissolved, and active art dealers bought works from Russian emigrants.
After the Second World War, the collecting of old European art came to an almost complete halt. Significant donations have since been rare. The donation by the Ester and Jalo Sihtola Fine Arts Foundation in the early 2000s is, therefore, particularly significant. The extensive donation also included some exceptionally valuable works for the collection of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum.
The most significant collections held by the Sinebrychoff Art Museum
- Paul and Fanny Sinebrychoff collection
- Friends of the Ateneum collection
- Carl von Haartman collection
- O.W. Klinckowström collection
- Göhle collection
- Antell collection
- Ester and Jalo Sihtola Fine Arts Foundation’s collection
- Aspelin-Haapkylä collection
- Linder collection
- Friends of the Sinebrychoff Art Museum collection
Loans from the collections
We lend works from our collections to other museums and exhibition organisers.
Explore the art collection online
You can explore the works in the collections of the Sinebrychoff, Ateneum and Kiasma art museums on the Finnish National Gallery website. Copyright-free works can be downloaded directly from the website.