The core of the Clark's collection was assembled by Robert Sterling Clark (1877–1956), who once declared, "I like all kinds of art if it is good of its kind." This monumental, two-volume publication is the first fully documented catalogue of the Institute's collection of European paintings. The quality of this collection reflects the founder's philosophy in its inclusion of masterpieces as diverse as William-Adolphe Bouguereau's Nymphs and Satyr (1873) and Pierre-Auguste Renoir's A Box at the Theater (1880); works by academic painters such as Jean-Léon Gérôme; Barbizon painters such as Camille Corot and Jean-François Millet; and the Impressionists Camille Pissarro and Edgar Degas. More recent acquisitions include Théodore Rousseau's Farm in the Landes (1844–67) and Claude Monet's Rouen Cathedral (c. 1892–94), and works by John Constable and J. M. W. Turner.
Published on the 100th anniversary of Sterling Clark's first purchase of a European painting, these handsome volumes document each of the 374 paintings in the collection, with essays by prominent scholars, detailed bibliographic and art historical apparatus, technical notes, and over 450 color illustrations.
Sarah Lees is Associate Curator of European art and Richard Rand is the Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Senior Curator, both at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Sandra L. Webber is Conservator of Paintings at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center.
With contributions by Katharine J. Albert, Philippe Bordes, Dan Cohen, Kathryn Calley Galitz, Alexis Goodin, Marc Gotlieb, John House, Simon Kelly, Richard Kendall, Kathleen M. Morris, Leslie Hill Paisley, Kelly Pask, Elizabeth A. Pergam, Kathryn A. Price, Mark A. Roglán, James Rosenow, Zoë Samels, and Fronia E. Wissman