'Gauguin and the Impressionists' at Palazzo Zabarella

The great masterpieces of the Ordrupgaard Collection on display in Padua!

From 29 September 2018 to 27 January 2019

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The exhibitions at Palazzo Zabarella in Padua in 2018 take on the fascinating nuances of Impressionism... From 29th September, 2018 to 27th January, 2019 the Impressionists of the Collection Ordrupgaard will be on display in Italy!

The great Impressionists exhibition in Padua is a unique event of its kind: Palazzo Zabarella is in fact one of the four locations in the world that have been selected to house the famous Danish collection, exceptionally available on loan whilst works are under way for the complete overhaul of its permanent museum.

Manet, Cézanne, Berthe Morisot, Degas, Monet, Gauguin, Matisse, Renoir, ... 'Gauguin and the Impressionists' exhibition in Padua will allow you to admire extraordinary works, paintings made by some of the greatest masters of the history of art, usually only exhibited in Denmark.

It is an exceptional collection of masterpieces – deemed to be unparalleled in Northern Europe after the First World War and considered one of the finest collections of Impressionist art in Europe - created at the beginning of the 20th century by the banker, insurer, State Advisor and philanthropist Wilhelm Hansen and his wife Henny.


The history of the Hansen Collection on display at Palazzo Zabarella, Padua

Wilhelm Hansen loved collecting Danish paintings. In 1893 he travelled to Paris for the first time during a business trip. In the ville lumiére he visited museums and galleries and was so fascinated by the new French painting that he returned several times to Paris and developed the idea of creating a collection of French art that could parallel the one of Danish art he already owned.

As a banker and collector, Hansen also saw the opportunity to make an excellent investment, provided he was able to buy the most valuable works on the market: his experience as a collector and a banker proved to be essential in putting together a collection of art of inestimable value, with a series of masterpieces that has no equal in the rest of Europe.

Relying also on the advice of one of the most important art critics of the time, Théodore Duret, in just two years, from 1916 to 1918, Hansen managed to create a collection that Klas Fåhræus, a Swedish collector and colleague of his, described as the 'best Impressionist collection in the world '.

Unable to fully finance the project, Hansen created a Consortium to involve his wealthy and interested friends and bring to Denmark the new French art, Impressionists in particular, and the artists who preceded them and their two successors, Cézanne and Gauguin. After the war, the Consortium took advantage of the opportunities offered by the market, managing to acquire works of great importance and even entire collections.

To host his new incredible collection - as many as 156 works, ranging from neoclassical and romantic canvases by David and Delacroix, realism, impressionism, post-impressionism ones by Cézanne and Gauguin, and also some by Matisse, the most prominent artist of les Fauves group - Hansen built a new gallery that, once a week, was opened to the public to allow everyone to enjoy the extraordinary beauty of these paintings.

In 1922, the bankruptcy of the Danish bank Landmandsbanken, in those years Denmark's largest private bank, also dragged Hansen along with it. To avoid total collapse, the collector decided to sell off his French paintings ... Luckily it was only a brief period: Hansen quickly recovered from the crisis and reacquired his wonderful collection.

Once he had bought again all the works, the collection was no longer open to the public. Later, it was his wife Henny who donated the collection to Denmark and made it again available to the public.

Finally, an amusing anecdote! Hansen's last purchase was a small pastel by Degas with a ballerina bending down to adjust her shoe. This painting had belonged to Paul Gauguin, a great admirer of Degas, who even reproduced it against the background of one of his pictures of flowers. In 1931 Hansen bought the pastel from the Danish politician and writer Edvard Brandes, who had received it from his sister-in-law Mette Gauguin.


After the success at the National Gallery of Canada, 'Gauguin and the Impressionists. Masterpieces from the Ordrupgaard collection in Padua’ will be on show in Italy. The Ordrupgaard collection tour will then touch down in Switzerland and, finally, will return home in the renovated Ordrupgaard Museum, north of Copenhagen.

The Impressionism exhibition in Padua is curated by Anne-Birgitte Fonsmark and organized by Ordrupgaard, Copenhagen, Bano Foundation and the Municipality of Padua.

Impressionists exhibition, Italy, 2018 - Opening times

  • Tuesday to Sunday: from 10.00 to 19.00 (ticket office closes at 18.15)
  • Closed: every Monday and 25th December

Additional openings

  • Thursday 1st November, Saturday 8th and Wednesday 26th December, Tuesday 1st and Sunday 6th January

Tickets of Palazzo Zabarella - Gauguin Exhibition in Padova

Adult: € 13.00

Concessions: € 11.00

  • Over 65, 18 to 25 year olds, disabled people or with mobility impairments, teachers and employees of the University of Padua, teachers of the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, Acegas, Aps, Amga

Special price: € 7.00

  • Children aged 6 to 17, students of the University of Padua and students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice (only from Tuesday to Friday)


  • Children up to 5 years (not in a school group), those accompanying visitors with disabilities
By Insidecom Editorial Staff