Four Private Collections to Visit on your Next European Holiday

Sydney Leonard Joel Auction
Galleria Doria Pamphilj, Rome / Alamy


Housed in the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Rome, this incredible collection of art, furniture, and statuary belongs to the Doria, Pamphilj, Landi, and Aldobrandini families now united through marriage and descent. The collection began in the 1500s and with additions over the centuries it has now grown to be one of the largest private collections in Rome. It includes works by renowned artists such as Velázquez, Bernini, Caravaggio and Raphael amongst many others.


This elegant French house of decorative arts was built in 1911 by the Comte Moise de Camondo, with the architect Renê Sergent, to display his impressive collection of 18th century French furniture and objets d’art. Some highlights include impressive Aubusson tapestries, items previously belonging to Marie-Antoinette, paintings by Renoir and Le Brun, a collection of Sévres porcelain and furniture made by cabinetmakers Riesener and Oeben. Following Camondo’s death in 1935 the house and its contents were bequeathed to Les Arts Décoratifs and opened as a museum in 1936.


This impressive residence was built in 1672 by the architect Adriaen Dortsman and the interiors still evoke the splendour of the Dutch Golden Age. The first resident was the painter Ferdinand Bol, a pupil of Rembrandt, however, the museum is named after the Van Loon family who were the last occupants and the founders of the museum. The canal side house not only displays the extensive art collection from the Van Loon family, but is also home to historic objects, archival photographs, and a beautiful garden.


The historic house and library of architect Sir John Soane displays his vast collection of antiquities, furniture, sculpture, architectural models, and paintings. Kept just as it was at the time of his death in 1837, the three buildings can at times feel crowded and chaotic. However, the busy arrangement of the full interiors was one of Soane’s favourite pastimes, he enjoyed constantly arranging and rearranging the collection. Four years before his death Soane negotiated a private Act of Parliament to preserve his house and collection and to keep it open and free for inspiration and education.

MADELEINE NORTON / Associate Head of Decorative Arts & Art, Sydney

Banner Image: Gardens in the Van Loon Museum, Amsterdam / Alamy

November 2022