Masterpiece London 2017 – Introduction

Masterpiece London 2017, South Grounds, The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London SW3, 29th June – 5th July 2017

MASTERPIECE PRESENTS
Iván Navarro
Impenetrable Room
2017
Courtesy Paul Kasmin Gallery

Since its inception this fair has grown into one of the most must-visit events of the art and antiques year. Some thirty-seven thousand visitors last year! It attracts museum directors and private collectors from all over the world to see the artworks shown by a hundred and fifty international dealers. The artworks range from antiquity to the present time. The Royal Bank of Canada is once again the principal sponsor

This year the new MASTERPIECE PRESENTS will reveal a large-scale dedicated exhibition space at the entrance which has been transformed by a special artwork – Impenetrable Room, 2017. Created by the Chilean artist Iván Navarro it has been commissioned by the New York-based Paul Kasmin Gallery who are new exhibitors.

Over the coming days I look forward to sharing blogs on some of the leading dealers taking part.

www.masterpiecefair.com

Treasure Houses: The homes of the Dukes of Buccleuch and Queensberry

 

BOUGHTON

The House, its People and its Collections

By Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Published by Caique Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9565948 5 3 
£17.95 / $21.80 / 81.41 TL 

 

 

 

BOWHILL

The House, its People and its Paintings

Introduced by Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

Edited by John Montagu Douglas Scott

Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Published by Caique Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9565948 2 2
£12.95 / $15.73 / 58.73 TL
 

 

DRUMLANRIG

The Castle, its People and its Paintings

By Richard, Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

Photographs by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Published by Caique Publishing Ltd
ISBN 978 0 9565948 4 6
£10.95 / $13.30 / 49.66 TL
Paperback, 96 pages, Second Edition
 

These three guidebooks are much more than just that as they provide a fascinating introduction to the houses and collections of the incumbent Dukes.  You will encounter Rembrandt, Canaletto, Van Dyck and El Greco, as well as family portraits by Gainsborough, Reynolds and Ramsay, There are miniatures, French and English furniture, Sèvres made for Louis XV, items commemorating Sir Walter Scott and the Duke of Monmouth, silver and a huge variety of textiles and rugs. It is an extensive and engaging collection in three very different houses, two, Bowhill and Drumlanrig, are in Scotland and then Boughton in England which the late John Cornforth once described as ‘the English Versailles’.

These books are of serious appeal to anyone interested in the fine and decorative arts, architecture and historic interiors.

http://www.bowhillhouse.co.uk

http://www.boughtonhouse.co.uk

http://www.drumlanrigcastle.co.uk

http://www.caiquepublishing.com

 

An Artistic Friendship

The Credit Suisse Exhibition: MICHELANGELO & SEBASTIANO, North Galleries, The National Gallery, London, until 25th June 2017

 

Sebastiano del Piombo, after partial designs by Michelangelo
Lamentation over the Dead Christ (Pietà), about 1512-16
Oil on poplar
248 × 190 cm
Museo Civico, Viterbo
© Comune di Viterbo

 

The North Galleries of the National Gallery provide a good background for this engaging exhibition which takes us back to Rome in the High Renaissance.  It was a time of war and religious conflict and against this the collaboration and friendship of Michelangelo (1475-1564) and Sebastiano del Piombo (1455-1547) is revealed.

Michelangelo
The Risen Christ, about 1532-3
Black chalk on paper
37.2 × 22.1 cm
Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 (RCIN 912768)

The talented oil painter Sebastiano arrived in Rome in 1511 and became part of the city’s vibrant art scene and he soon met Michelangelo who was painting the Sistine Chapel ceiling. They became friends and were allies against Raphael (1483 – 1520) who had been called to Rome in 1508 by the Pope to undertake the redecoration of the papal apartments.

Sebastiano del Piombo
Letter from Sebastiano del Piombo in Rome to Michelangelo in Florence, 2 July 1518
© Casa Buonarroti, Florence (IX, 468)

Paintings, drawings, letters and sculptures are used to tell the story with some exceptional loans such as the Lamentation over the Dead Christ (c1512-16) which was the first joint collaboration of Sebastiano and Michelangelo. Another of their projects the Borgherini Chapel in S. Pietro in Montorio, Rome (1516–24) – which obviously could not be brought to London – has been realistically re-created using modern technology.

Michelangelo
The Entombment (or Christ being carried to his Tomb), about 1500-1
Oil on poplar
161.7 x 149.9 cm
© The National Gallery, London (NG790)

Lasting over twenty-five years the friendship ended when Michelangelo returned to Rome permanently to paint the Last Judgement in the Sistine Chapel.  The reason for the falling out is thought to have been an argument over painting techniques – a difference which had brought them together but now drove them apart.

HRH The Prince of Wales viewing The Credit Suisse Exhibition: Michelangelo & Sebastiano on 13 March 2017
© The National Gallery, London

This is an exhibition that demands to be seen in the flesh and I warmly urge you to do so.

Michelangelo, finished by an unknown seventeenth century artist
The Risen Christ (‘The Giustiniani Christ’), 1514-15, finished in the early 17th century
Carrara marble
250 (201 without the cross) x 90 x 51 cm
Church of San Vincenzo Martire, Monastero dei Silvestrini, Bassano Romano (Viterbo)
© Photo Alessandro Vasari

http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk

The Artist Depicted!

Portrait of the Artist, The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace, London SW1, until 17th April 2017

Daniel Mytens, A Self-Portrait, c.1630 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Daniel Mytens,
A Self-Portrait, c.1630
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

This extensive exhibition encompasses portraits of artists from the reign of Charles I to the present day. A whole variety of disciplines have been used in creating these works of art, including Hockney’s 2013 self-portrait created on an iPad.  It was a gift to Her Majesty The Queen to mark his receiving the Order of Merit.

Giovanni Battista Cipriani, Bartolozzi Sleeping,c.1770 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Giovanni Battista Cipriani,
Bartolozzi Sleeping,c.1770
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Several portraits were in the collection of Charles I such as the Self-Portrait as the Allegory of Painting (La Pittura) (c.1638–9) by Artemisia Gentileschi.  The Rembrandt portrait was acquired by George IV. Dating from the 1950s are the reciprocal portraits of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Edward Seago.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Seago Painting, 1956-57 © HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh,
Seago Painting, 1956-57
© HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

Displayed in their entirety for the first time are the 224 miniatures created by the Italian artist Giuseppe Macpherson for Lord Cowper in the 1760s who presented them to George III.  They depict the artists’ self-portraits hung in the Vasari Corridor of the Galleria degli Uffizi in Florence and which are the most important such group in the world.

Attributed to Francesco Melzi, Leonardo da Vinci, c.1515-18 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Attributed to Francesco Melzi,
Leonardo da Vinci, c.1515-18
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

I can only give a taste of what awaits you in this exhibition but I feel sure you will want to visit more than once – so don’t forget your ticket allows you free re-admission for a year if you ask them to treat your ticket purchase as a donation.

Johann Michael Wittmer, Raphael's First Sketch of the 'Madonna della Sedia', 1853 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Johann Michael Wittmer,
Raphael’s First Sketch of the ‘Madonna della Sedia’, 1853
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

 

Lucian Freud, Self-Portrait: Reflection, 1996 Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

Lucian Freud,
Self-Portrait: Reflection, 1996
Royal Collection Trust /© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016.

 

http://www.royalcollection.org.uk

2017 – Works on Paper Fair

The Works on Paper Fair, The Royal Geographical Society, Exhibition Road, South Kensington, London SW7, 9th – 12th February 2017

Lady Emily Dundas (d.1900) The Ladies of Llangollen at Plas Newydd Watercolour over traces of pencil, inscribed verso. 9.3 x 9.4 cm Karen Taylor Fine Art

Lady Emily Dundas (d.1900)
The Ladies of Llangollen at Plas Newydd
Watercolour over traces of pencil, inscribed verso.
9.3 x 9.4 cm
Karen Taylor Fine Art

The Fair covers the spectrum of works on paper from early to contemporary and sees many collectors and new enthusiasts come through its doors.  There is a good programme of talks, including Anne Desmet, RA – “A Life in Print” and Henry Little on “Landmark Exhibitions of the Past 100 Years”

Jess Shepherd (Living) Indian Bean Tree (Catalpa bignonioides). Belicena, Granada, Spain. Watercolour on 100% cotton rag paper 2016 76 x 56cm Abbott and Holder

Jess Shepherd (Living)
Indian Bean Tree (Catalpa bignonioides). Belicena, Granada, Spain.
Watercolour on 100% cotton rag paper
2016
76 x 56cm
Abbott and Holder

This year there is a rare opportunity to see some thirty-eight watercolours and drawings from the important collection of works held by Eton College.  Artists featured include Alexander and John Robert Cozens, Thomas Gainsborough, Francis Towne, Thomas Girtin and J.M.W. Turner. Philippa Martin the collection’s keeper will be giving a talk on the College’s holdings.

Alexander Cozens (1717 - 1786) Landscape with Buildings Drawing. 160 x 198 mm To be exhibited as part of the Loan Exhibition from Eton College Collections Reproduced by permission of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College

Alexander Cozens (1717 – 1786)
Landscape with Buildings
Drawing. 160 x 198 mm
To be exhibited as part of the Loan Exhibition from Eton College Collections
Reproduced by permission of the Provost and Fellows of Eton College

 

Paul Maze (1887-1979) The Lancer's Uniform Pastel 57 x 77 cm Panter & Hall

Paul Maze (1887-1979)
The Lancer’s Uniform
Pastel
57 x 77 cm
Panter & Hall

 

J.W Edy after George Bulteel Fisher (1764-1834) The Niagara Falls. 1800 Aquatint with added colour 48.9 x 69.2 cm Charles Nugent

J.W Edy after George Bulteel Fisher
(1764-1834)
The Niagara Falls. 1800
Aquatint with added colour
48.9 x 69.2 cm
Charles Nugent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abraham Bosse (Tours 1602 – 1676 Paris) Taste Original etching, for the series of The Five Senses. 25.2 x 31.9 cm Elizabeth Harvey-Lee

Abraham Bosse (Tours 1602 – 1676 Paris)
Taste
Original etching, for the series of The Five Senses.
25.2 x 31.9 cm
Elizabeth Harvey-Lee

 

Joan Mirò (1893-1983) Constellation III Lithograph. 1975 78 x 57.5 cm Catalogue Joan Mirò. Les Livres Illustrés, Patrick Cramer Editeur 1989, n.195 Wallector

Joan Mirò (1893-1983)
Constellation III
Lithograph. 1975
78 x 57.5 cm
Catalogue Joan Mirò. Les Livres Illustrés, Patrick Cramer Editeur 1989, n.195
Wallector

http://www.worksonpaperfair.com

Room 90 at the BM

Maggi Hambling – Touch: works on paper, Room 90, The British Museum, until 29th January 2017 

French portrait drawings from Clouet to Courbet, Room 90, The British Museum, until 29th January 2017

 

Rosie, the stuffed rhinoceros in Ipswich Museum, 1963. Ink 48.3 x 34.9 cm, Maggi Hambling © The Trustees of the British Museum

Rosie, the stuffed rhinoceros in Ipswich Museum, 1963.
Ink 48.3 x 34.9 cm,
Maggi Hambling © The Trustees of the British Museum

The British Museum’s Room 90 plays host to two very good exhibitions of drawings.  The first Touch features forty works by that great British contemporary artist Maggi Hambling who although proficient in all media – painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture – regards drawing as the heart of her working practice.

The show’s title ‘Touch’ reflects Hambling’s belief that there is a deep connection between artist and subject.  She explains: : ‘I believe the subject chooses the artist, not vice versa, and that subject must then be in charge during the act of drawing in order for the truth to be found. Eye and hand attempt to discover and produce those precise marks which will recreate what the heart feels. The challenge is to touch the subject, with all the desire of a lover.’

Father painting 16/1/94 (4), 1994. Ink on paper. 61 x 49 cm © Maggi Hambling; photo: Douglas Atfield

Father painting 16/1/94 (4), 1994.
Ink on paper. 61 x 49 cm
© Maggi Hambling; photo: Douglas Atfield

The show also marks the gift of fifteen works by the artist to the British Museum and follows on from the idea, originated by Francis Towne in 1816, of artists giving some of their works to the Museum.

Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne and his wife Geneviève , Nicolas de Plattemontage, 1677, 260.00 x208.00 mm, Black chalk with red and white chalk on paper © The Trustees of the British Museum

Portrait of Jean-Baptiste de Champaigne and his wife Geneviève , Nicolas de Plattemontage, 1677,
260.00 x208.00 mm, Black chalk with red and white chalk on paper
© The Trustees of the British Museum

Nearby is French portrait drawings from Clouet to Courbet a wonderful selection that highlights the Museum’s notable holdings of French portrait drawings. There is something intimate about a drawing – as Maggi Hambling suggests – and so no wonder artists used it to depict family and friends.  It is also a good medium to try out new ideas of portraiture. As well as these ravishing drawings there are examples in other media including enamels, medals and an onyx cameo.

Leopold Mozart and his two children, Wolfgang Amadeus and Marie Anne, 1777, 320 x 200 mm. Watercolour and bodycolour, on contemporary gold, black and green wash mount © The Trustees of the British Museum

Leopold Mozart and his two children, Wolfgang Amadeus and Marie Anne, 1777,
320 x 200 mm. Watercolour and bodycolour, on contemporary gold, black and green wash mount
© The Trustees of the British Museum

britishmuseum.org

Gustave Courbet, Self Portrait , 570.00 x 450.00 mm, 1852, Black chalk and charcoal on paper © The Trustees of the British Museum

Gustave Courbet, Self Portrait ,
570.00 x 450.00 mm, 1852,
Black chalk and charcoal on paper
© The Trustees of the British Museum

BOOK REVIEW: Going Once

Going Once: 250 Years of Culture, Taste and Collecting at Christie’s

 going-once-jacket

ISBN: 978 0 7148 7202 5

Phaidon

£39.95

 

What better way to celebrate two hundred and fifty years as a leading art business than through the two hundred and fifty objects selected for this book.  It is a wonderful survey of these remarkable sales and the high prices achieved whether for a 3,000-year-old Assyrian frieze or Dorothy’s ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. Paintings, furniture, gold and silver, sculpture, wine, even a London Routemaster bus are included.  One feature I like is that as well as giving the original sale price they also give today’s equivalent value.

 

This is a great book to dip into time and time again as there is much to learn and enjoy from it.

phaidon.com