Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Tiepolo (1696−1770), The Rape of the Sabine Women. Photo: Finnish National Gallery / Hannu Aaltonen.

Research at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum

The research done at the museum focuses primarily on our own collections. Our research complements the history of the works of art.

An expert in old art

The research done at the Sinebrychoff Art Museum focuses primarily on its own collections, but the museum also seeks to promote wider research into old art. The conservation of works of art produces new knowledge, which is needed to support more in-depth art-historical research.

Through the exhibition publications, the results of the research reach a wide audience, including international experts. Research gives rise to networks of experts, and the results of the work can be presented in an interesting way at exhibitions.

As the holder of Finland’s most significant collection of old art, the Sinebrychoff Art Museum has a special responsibility to support research on old art at universities and to improve the accessibility of its collections.

Provenance research

Research into ownership history traces the life cycle of a work of art as accurately as possible. The history of the work includes information on how the work has changed owners and moved from one collection to another. The information provides context for the work and is therefore an important part of museum work.

By studying the various stages of works, new information can be elicited about the collectors and the history of the art collection. Old European art has travelled to Finland along very diverse routes. Information has also been lost along the way, which is why there are often gaps in the story. Provenance research ensures that the history of works does not include illegal or ethically questionable activities. Special attention is paid to the provenance of works when new acquisitions are made.

International connections

The research on old European art takes us to the centre of an international research field. The works of the old masters have spread to museum collections around the world. International collaboration between museums is natural and leads to the emergence of new collaboration projects. The Sinebrychoff Art Museum actively participates in the activities of international research networks. An example of these is CODART, based in the Netherlands.

By adding works in our collection to internationally maintained databases, we improve the accessibility of our collection and strengthen the museum’s connections in the field of old European art research.

RKD – Netherlands Institute for Art History

Cranach Digital Archive