ING Collection United Kingdom


The origins of the UK Art Collection lie with Barings, the British merchant bank acquired by ING in 1995. Although diverse, the collection is united in reflecting the character and history of the bank that played a leading role in the development of British and international finance from the 1760s until the late 20th century.

Essentially, collecting commenced in the 1920s with the acquisition of the somewhat stately 18th and 19th-century portraits of members of the Baring family and their associates. It continued into the second half of the 20th century with the acquisition of discreet groups of paintings including a collection of Latin American topographical works.

It was not until the late 1970s that the firm developed a clear collecting policy. Two distinct collections were created – one of 18th and 19th-century English watercolours and another of figurative works by ‘early-modern’ British artists. Due to the delicate nature of watercolours, the firm took the decision in the early 1980s to focus on 20th-century works.

In 1998, ING set up a charitable trust to manage its historical collections in the UK and encourage their use as an educational resource. The trust encompasses The Baring Archive (also cared for by ING in the UK), the historical portraits, as well as a variety of historical objects. These collections have since been awarded Designated status by Arts Council England.


  • When commissioning, members of the Baring family sought out the leading artists of their day. As such, the historical portraits collection features works by the likes of Sir Thomas Lawrence, Benjamin West and John Linnell.
  • The Latin American topographical collection includes a group of very fine pictures of Chile and Peru by the artist Juan Mauricio Rugendas. These were acquired in 1970 to reflect the firm’s close historical associations with these countries.
  • Our collection of British watercolours consists of around fifty works by artists such as Samuel Palmer, Thomas Shotter Boys, Francis Towne and David Cox. A watercolour by Lucie Baring dating from 1800 is a very special addition to this collection.
  • Our 20th-century works are, for the most part, ‘early-modern’ and are by artists such as Stanley Spencer, John and Paul Nash and L S Lowry. A handful of abstract works by artists including Roger Hilton augment this predominantly figurative collection.
  • Today, our core collection is enhanced by a small group of works acquired through ING’s sponsorship of the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition. As part of this sponsorship, ING offers a purchase prize. Previous winners include Jeremy Gardiner, Neil Canning and James Lloyd.

Please email for more information on the UK Collection.

View the ING United Kingdom Collection

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