The 2017 London Art Fair

London Art Fair, Business Design Centre, Islington, London N1, 18th-22nd January 2017

Deborah Azzopardi Love is the Answer..., 2016 Limited Edition Silk-Screen Print with Platinum Leaf 121 x 87 cm 47 5/8 x 34 1/4 in. Edition of 15 Courtesy, The Cynthia Corbett Gallery

Deborah Azzopardi
Love is the Answer…, 2016
Limited Edition Silk-Screen Print with Platinum Leaf
121 x 87 cm
47 5/8 x 34 1/4 in.
Edition of 15
Courtesy, The Cynthia Corbett Gallery

The London Art Fair – this the 29th – to me sets the scene for the year ahead and gives some indication of what we might expect the market to be like.  It has a wide remit covering art from the early 20th century to the present day and has one hundred and twenty nine participating galleries.  More than a fifth of these come from overseas.

EUAN UGLOW (1932-2000) Two Peaches, 1992 oil on board 7 x 9 7/8 inches Browse & Darby

EUAN UGLOW (1932-2000)
Two Peaches, 1992
oil on board
7 x 9 7/8 inches
Browse & Darby

There are talks, tours and performances aimed at all levels of collectors and there is also ‘Photo50’ which celebrates contemporary photography. This year’s Museum Partnership is with The Lightbox, Woking who are showing works from the Ingram Collection in a special exhibition entitled ‘Ten Years: A Century of Art’.

Paul Wright 'Summer Profile' Thompson's Gallery

Paul Wright
‘Summer Profile’
Thompson’s Gallery

 

Going to the Match signed by L.S. Lowry, 1972. Edition of 300 Image Size: 52.8 x 68.0cm. Available from www.peterharrington.co.uk

Going to the Match signed by L.S. Lowry, 1972.
Edition of 300
Image Size: 52.8 x 68.0cm.
Available from http://www.peterharrington.co.uk

 

Antoine-Louis Barye, French, (1796-1875) Walking Lion, 1836 Dimensions: Height 10 in 24 cm Length 16 in 40 cm Sladmore Gallery

Antoine-Louis Barye, French, (1796-1875)
Walking Lion, 1836
Dimensions:
Height 10 in 24 cm
Length 16 in 40 cm
Sladmore Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sam Burford Top Films of the 20th Century Number 1, 2016 cropped Fiumano Projects

Sam Burford
Top Films of the 20th Century
Number 1, 2016 cropped
Fiumano Projects

 

Nitin Amin Selfhood Series (detail) 2006, 28 x 33 cm each, total width 272 cm, analogue photographs, edition of 12. courtesy Nunnery Gallery, copyright the artist

Nitin Amin
Selfhood Series (detail) 2006, 28 x 33 cm each, total width 272 cm, analogue photographs, edition of 12.
courtesy Nunnery Gallery, copyright the artist

 

Maria Friberg, Belonging II, 2010, pigment print, silicone mounted on aluminium, 58 x 80 cm Pi Artworks London

Maria Friberg,
Belonging II, 2010,
pigment print, silicone mounted on aluminium, 58 x 80 cm
Pi Artworks London

 

Iain Faulkner Paris Morning 2016 Oil on Canvas 91.5 x 91.5 cm (36 x 36 in) Pontone Gallery

Iain Faulkner
Paris Morning 2016
Oil on Canvas 91.5 x 91.5 cm (36 x 36 in)
Pontone Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

www.londonartfair.co.uk

BOOK REVIEW: Emma Hamilton Seduction & Celebrity

Emma Hamilton

Seduction & Celebrity

(In association with the Royal Museums Greenwich)

Edited by Quintin Colville with Kate Williams
ISBN 9780500252208
 £29.95

emma-hamilton-jacket

It would have been totally wrong for me to have mentioned this beautifully illustrated book when I reviewed the marvellous exhibition ‘Emma Hamilton Seduction & Celebrity’ at the National Maritime Museum (6th January, 2017) since this book is equally as enjoyable and while complementing the exhibition it very definitely stands alone too.  It takes us into the world of Emma Hamilton (1765–1815) and reassesses her life and role and shows her cultural and social achievements.  I have always thought that if Emma could have gained the confidence and friendship of Naples’s Queen Maria Carolina, daughter of Maria Theresa, then there was obviously something more substantial than being just a temptress about her.

The contributors which also include Vic Gatrell, Hannah Greig, Jason Kelly, Margarette Lincoln, Christine Riding and Gillian Russell bring a fresh understanding of a woman who not only captured the heart of a great naval hero but has beguiled us ever since.

Porcelain lovers will also be interested to see the series of pictures of Emma’s beloved Merton Place done by Thomas Baxter who is also well known for the decoration of porcelain.

 

www.thamesandhudson.com

Some French Art in London

CLAUDE & FRANÇOIS-XAVIER LALANNE, Ben Brown Fine Arts.12 Brook’s Mews, London W1, until  26th JANUARY 2017

 

Moutons by François-Xavier Lalanne in a set conceived by Manfredi della Gherardesca Photo: Tom Cartier. Courtesy Ben Brown Fine Arts 2016

Moutons by François-Xavier Lalanne in a set conceived by Manfredi della Gherardesca
Photo: Tom Cartier. Courtesy Ben Brown Fine Arts 2016

This is a hugely enjoyable exhibition celebrating the creative talents of Claude and the late François-Xavier Lalanne.  Their distinctive style explores the natural world through sculpture and one can easily understand why their work features in the collections and homes of Peter Marino, Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Marc Jacobs, François Pinault, Bernard Arnault and of course the late Yves Saint Laurent.

Installation view - Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne in a set conceived by Manfredi della Gherardesca Photo: Tom Cartier. Courtesy Ben Brown Fine Arts 2016

Installation view – Claude & François-Xavier Lalanne in a set conceived by Manfredi della Gherardesca
Photo: Tom Cartier. Courtesy Ben Brown Fine Arts 2016

www.benbrownfinearts.com

 

 

 

Fabienne Verdier: Rhythms and Reflections, Waddington Custot, 11 Cork Street, London W1 until 4th February 2017

Fabienne Verdier at work on the Walking Paintings series courtesy Waddington Custot

Fabienne Verdier at work on the Walking Paintings series
courtesy Waddington Custot

I must say I do wonder why this is Fabienne Verdier’s first UK solo show as her mixture of Eastern and Western artistic traditions are remarkable.  The exhibition features some thirteen new works from her Walking Paintings series and Rhythms and Reflections. This latter group reflect her period as artist-in-residence at New York’s Juilliard School in 2014 and show how music and art can be combined.  As the image suggests her working process is highly physical.

Fabienne Verdier, Ressac II, 2016, Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 226 x 150 cm, courtesy Waddington Custot

Fabienne Verdier, Ressac II, 2016,
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 226 x 150 cm,
courtesy Waddington Custot

www.waddingtoncustot.com

Garnitures at the V&A

Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust HousesV&A Museum, Cromwell Road, London SW7, until 30th April 2017

Set of Chinese porcelain vases, 17th century, Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Set of Chinese porcelain vases, 17th century,
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

This exhibition is a partnership between the National Trust and the V&A and is well worth visiting.

It consists of a mixture of ceramic and silver vases that truly do reflect the wealth and taste of their original owners in the 17th to 19th centuries when the garniture had its heyday. Garnitures usually consist of an odd number of vases which are united by their decoration and they would be displayed symmetrically on mantelpieces, on door cases and on the top of furniture.

Covered pot-pourri vase from Upton House, Warwickshire, soft-paste porcelain, 1762 – 64, Chelsea factory, London, England. © National Trust. Photograph Robert Morris

Covered pot-pourri vase from Upton House, Warwickshire, soft-paste porcelain, 1762 – 64, Chelsea factory, London, England.
© National Trust. Photograph Robert Morris

The first such sets were made up from pieces of Chinese porcelain in the 17thcentury but eventually they were made as sets in both China and Japan and of course from the 18th century onwards by British and European porcelain factories.  The decline in the popularity of garnitures meant that many were split up – a Sevres set from Upton House proves this point – and so complete sets are rare nowadays.

Three-piece ‘Hamilton’ vases from Saltram, Devon, about 1770 – 80, black basalt, Wedgwood and Bentley, Etruria, Staffordshire, England. © National Trust. Photograph Robert Morris

Three-piece ‘Hamilton’ vases from Saltram, Devon, about 1770 – 80, black basalt, Wedgwood and Bentley, Etruria, Staffordshire, England.
© National Trust. Photograph Robert Morris

The National Trust’s External Adviser on Ceramics, Patricia Ferguson, who has worked alongside the V&A’s senior curator Reino Liefkes, said: : “This display promises to change the way you see historic vases; they were almost always designed to be part of a set”.  She is also the author of the accompanying V&A and National Trust exhibition book: Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses.

Five-piece chimney garniture from Blickling Hall, about 1804 – 7, soft-paste porcelain, Barr, Flight and Barr factory, Worcester, England. © National Trust. Photograph Robert Morris

Five-piece chimney garniture from Blickling Hall, about 1804 – 7, soft-paste porcelain, Barr, Flight and Barr factory, Worcester, England.
© National Trust. Photograph Robert Morris

vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/garnitures

A Cautionary Tale

Emma Hamilton: Seduction and Celebrity, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London SE 10, until 17th April 2017

'Emma as La Penserosa', 1791-92 by Sir Thomas Lawrence ® The Abercorn Heirloom Settlement Trustees; Bryan F. Rutledge B.A.

‘Emma as La Penserosa’, 1791-92 by Sir Thomas Lawrence
® The Abercorn Heirloom Settlement Trustees; Bryan F. Rutledge B.A.

This is an exhibition that has exceeded my expectations and one I had been looking forward to since I learnt of it.

It is I think very much a story of a beautiful young woman that has resonance today – a tale of humble beginnings, of becoming a “celebrity” but ending in disillusionment and obscurity.

Berlin service: Teapot depicting Emma Hamilton ® National Maritime Museum, London. From the Clive Richards Collection

Berlin service: Teapot depicting Emma Hamilton
® National Maritime Museum, London. From the Clive Richards Collection

Born in Cheshire in 1765, daughter of a struggling blacksmith Emma came to London in her thirteenth year and became part of the Covent Garden world which mixed high society with the sexual underworld. Aged sixteen she became the mistress of Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh and as readers of my blog ‘Unravelling Uppark’ (06/06/14) will know Emma danced naked on the dining room table there to entertain his friends. However when she fell pregnant Fetherstonhaugh chucked her out and she returned to Cheshire and gave birth to a daughter.

'Emma dancing the tarantella' c.1791 by William Lock ® The Jean Kislak Collection

‘Emma dancing the tarantella’ c.1791 by William Lock
® The Jean Kislak Collection

Fortunately she had made the acquaintance of Charles Greville, a son of the Earl of Warwick, and he took her under his wing, installing her in his house just off the Edgware Road in London, an area more rural then than it is today. It was there that Greville introduced her to the painter George Romney.  She was, as the wonderful paintings shown in the exhibition amply prove, a perfect Muse for the artist.

Emma as Circe, 1782, by George Romney ® The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Emma as Circe, 1782, by George Romney
® The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

She also met Greville’s uncle Sir William Hamilton and it was on to him that Greville passed Emma when he tired of her by sending her to Naples where Hamilton was British envoy. Naples was a major stopping-off place on the Grand Tour and thanks to Hamilton’s patient teaching and her own talent she created her famous “Attitudes” which brought scenes from paintings and sculpture to life. She achieved even more of a celebrity status which was crowned when Hamilton married her in 1791.

Gold and micro-mosaic necklace belonging to Emma ® National Maritime Museum, London

Gold and micro-mosaic necklace belonging to Emma
® National Maritime Museum, London

Her new position as an envoy’s wife meant that she had to play a political role too and in this Emma was fortunate that the Neapolitan King’s wife Maria Carolina, a sister of Marie Antoinette, liked her and made a confidante of her.

Horatio Nelson, 1758 -1805, Vice Admiral of the White by Johann Heinrich Schmidt ® National Maritime Museum, London

Horatio Nelson, 1758 -1805, Vice Admiral of the White by Johann Heinrich Schmidt
® National Maritime Museum, London

However in 1798 the arrival of Admiral Nelson, following his victory at the Battle of the Nile, was the beginning of what would be one of the great love affairs of history.  It was one fraught with dangers as her infidelity rocked society and it was not helped by Emma’s giving birth to Nelson’s child whom they named Horatia.

Emma, Lady Hamilton, 1761 - 1815 by Johann Heinrich Schmidt ® National Maritime Museum, London

Emma, Lady Hamilton, 1761 – 1815 by Johann Heinrich Schmidt
® National Maritime Museum, London

They acquired a house at Merton in Surrey and set up home their but because of Nelson’s naval duties he was frequently away.  His death at the Battle of Trafalgar 21st October 1805 brought it all crashing down. Life became difficult in every way and her attempts to maintain her lifestyle and position led to her being imprisoned for debt in 1813 in the King’s Bench Prison.  Thanks to funds being provided she was released but had to flee to Calais to escape her creditors and it was there in January 1815 she died after months of illness in the same poverty as she had been born.

Gold 'fede' or betrothal ring, one of a pair exchanged by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and Emma ® National Maritime Museum, London

Gold ‘fede’ or betrothal ring, one of a pair exchanged by Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson and Emma
® National Maritime Museum, London

This somewhat salutary tale is beautifully told through pictures, objects, jewellery, furniture, prints, costumes and personal letters.  It really does give a wonderful insight into her life and times and explains why she remains so beguiling a figure. She is one of those people from history you would really want to meet!

'View of Merton House showing Lady Hamilton and Horatia in the grounds' ® National Maritime Museum, London

‘View of Merton House showing Lady Hamilton and Horatia in the grounds’
® National Maritime Museum, London

 

http://www.rmg.co.uk/emmahamilton

The 2017 Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair

The Mayfair Antiques & Fine Art Fair, supported by Wetherell and NFU Mutual Godalming, Westminster Ballroom, London Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, London W1, 5th – 8thJanuary 2017

Rare French Empire ormolu mantle timepiece of chariot form with white enamel dial forming the wheel, surmounted by Amour being pulled by two dogs, c1810, from Richard Price.

Rare French Empire ormolu mantle timepiece of chariot form with white enamel dial forming the wheel, surmounted by Amour being pulled by two dogs, c1810,
from Richard Price.

I always enjoy both writing about and visiting this fair as it makes a great way of starting a new year.  There is a tempting mixture of paintings, watercolours, silver, jewellery, sculpture, clocks and watches, glass, ceramics, rugs and 20th century design to be seen and purchased.

Allium flower hand-forged galvanised steel with blown glass, 2.5m or 3.2m, from QEST scholar Jenny Pickford,

Allium flower
hand-forged galvanised steel with blown glass, 2.5m or 3.2m,
from QEST scholar Jenny Pickford,

This year the fair will also be showing the skills and works of craft scholars from QEST (The Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust). So you may well be digging deep into your pockets!

Egyptian Amulet of Bes, 2cm long x 1.9cm wide, Ptolemaic period, 332–30 BC, from Ancient & Oriental

Egyptian Amulet of Bes,
2cm long x 1.9cm wide, Ptolemaic period, 332–30 BC,
from Ancient & Oriental

 

Spanish, Andalusian School, early 19th century Spanish Guerilla Encampment, Peninsular War oil on panel 23½" x 31½" Original Spanish, early 19th century, carved and indistinctly signed G.... ? on a rock lower centre. Indistinctly inscribed in Spanish on an envelope lower centre, the last word possibly being "Linares". Original Spanish, early 19th century, carved and gilded frame, from Atelier

Spanish, Andalusian School, early 19th century
Spanish Guerilla Encampment, Peninsular War
oil on panel
23½” x 31½”
Original Spanish, early 19th century, carved and indistinctly signed G…. ? on a rock lower centre.
Indistinctly inscribed in Spanish on an envelope lower centre, the last word possibly being “Linares”.
Original Spanish, early 19th century, carved and gilded frame,
from Atelier

 

Gilt decorated amethyst decanter with matching stopper, Russian, c1790, from Fileman Antiques

Gilt decorated amethyst decanter with matching stopper,
Russian, c1790,
from Fileman Antiques

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Harcourt Tiara, 18ct yellow gold and platinum tiara entirely set with fine white diamonds, c1900, from The Gilded Lily

The Harcourt Tiara,
18ct yellow gold and platinum tiara entirely set with fine white diamonds, c1900,
from The Gilded Lily

 

Mid 19th century walnut stool with tapestry top on raised cabriole legs, c1860, from S&S Timms Antiques

Mid 19th century walnut stool with tapestry top on raised cabriole legs, c1860,
from S&S Timms Antiques

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lincs sycamore and acrylic colours, 7'' high x4''x4'' from QEST scholar Joey Richardson

Lincs
sycamore and acrylic colours, 7” high x4”x4”
from QEST scholar Joey Richardson

 

View from the Dining Room by Susan Ryder RP NEAC oil on canvas signed 30" x 36" from Manya Igel Fine Arts

View from the Dining Room by Susan Ryder RP NEAC
oil on canvas
signed
30″ x 36″
from Manya Igel Fine Arts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Temple Guardians, signed E Bouret bronze and ebonised wood, 39cm high, dated 1871 from Hickmet Fine Arts

Temple Guardians, signed E Bouret
bronze and ebonised wood, 39cm high, dated 1871 from Hickmet Fine Arts

 

A rare George III silver drum tea caddy by Andrew Fogelberg, made in London in 1773, 4.5" x 4" diameter (base), 13oz, from Mary Cooke Antiques

A rare George III silver drum tea caddy by Andrew Fogelberg, made in London in 1773,
4.5″ x 4″ diameter (base), 13oz,
from Mary Cooke Antiques

 

 

http://www.mayfairfair.com