The Fine Art collections of Leicester Arts and Museums Service represent about 150 years of collecting, therefore they display tremendous breadth. The collections span some 500 years, with outstanding works dating from the 15th to 21st centuries: British art is represented in all media with emphasis on Victorian genre and historical art with some pre-Raphaelite gems; portraiture is usually of local dignitaries or industrialists. Of the Modern collection there are several important works by members of the Camden Town Group.
The international collection comprises pre-1800 French, Italian, Dutch and Spanish Old Master paintings and prints with a mix of styles and subjects and includes some very fine 19th century French paintings and sculpture. The German Art Collection comprises about 400 items of early 20th Century German Expressionist art, the origins of which were four purchases from an exhibition of 'Mid-European Art' held in 1940 at Leicester Museum.