In this week’s insight we’ll be looking at highlights from not one but two fairs: TEFAF Maastricht, postponed from its usual March time slot, and Masterpiece London, taking place as usual in the Royal Hospital Chelsea. Our team is working double-time to get all the artworks on the walls of two stands, so we hope your travels will include at least one of these fairs!
Let’s begin our tour in Maastricht on stand 401, where our Surrealist group is led by a remarkable and extremely rare double-sided painting by Metaphysical artist Giorgio de Chirico, Il Ritorno del figliol prodigo (The Return of the Prodigal Son) (1924). It was recently discovered to have been commissioned in Rome by Surrealist poet Paul Éluard, and painted on the reverse of Mercurio e i metafisici, executed just four years earlier and in a completely different style for critic and publisher Mario Broglio. The rediscovery of De Chirico’s earlier composition took place only in 2007, but, considered together, the two sides illustrate some of the most ground-breaking innovations made by De Chirico in the early 1920s. Further Surrealist highlights include superb examples by Jean (Hans) Arp, Viktor Brauner, Paul Klee, Man Ray, Francis Picabia and Yves Tanguy.
Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works include both American and European examples in oils and watercolour, by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, Childe Hassam, and Édouard Vuillard. Dickinson is also showing a group of works featuring Cubism and its ongoing reach; among the featured pieces are a highly important abstract by Jean Crotti, an important early Picasso watercolour, María Blanchard’s Le Saxophoniste (1919), a hand-tooled sculpture by Alexander Archipenko, and paintings by Cuban-American Carmen Herrera. And the Contemporary room is led by Rauschenberg’s Brulée (1991), part of the Borealis series on copper and ultimately born out of the ROCI (Rauschenberg Overseas Cultural Interchange) project.
The Old Masters room features some new discoveries with significant scholarly interest. Among these is Alessandro Allori’s Presumed portrait of Eleonora di Francesco I de’Medici (1567 – 1611), and a rare example of a collaboration between Giovanni Paolo Panini and Paolo Anesi. A pair of oval church interiors on copper supports feature figures by Canaletto inserted into earlier compositions by Pieter Neefs, the Elder. The still life genre, meanwhile, is represented by a finely-painted floral composition attributed to Balthasar van der Ast, while Sir Thomas Lawrence’s elegant Portrait of the Rt. Hon. Sylvester Douglas, Later Baron Glenbervie of Kincardine (c. 1792-93) is among the portraiture highlights.
Taking a quick trip back to London, Dickinson returns to stand 108 at Masterpiece with two important racing pictures: George Stubbs’s Eclipse at Newmarket, with a groom and jockey (1770) and John Frederick Herring, the Elder’s The Start of The Goodwood Gold Cup, 1831, Lord Chesterfield’s Priam, His Majesty King William IV’s Fleur De Lis, and Mr. Stonehewer’s Variation (1832). The gallery will also show figural and landscape paintings by James Ward, George Romney and William Hogarth. From the Continent, meanwhile, come Jean-Étienne Liotard’s enamel miniature Portrait of Sir Everard Fawkener (1694 – 1758) (c. 1753-55), and Joseph Gott’s rediscovered marble A fox with her two cubs (c. 1848), a fine example by this premier animal sculptor.
Representing Impressionism is Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s La Seine à Port Marly – Voiliers (c. 1890), inspired by trips to southern France. And leading the Modern British room are superb works by the preeminent names in Modern British sculpture: Henry Moore, represented by two bronzes, including the artist’s monumental Working model for ‘Standing Figure: Knife Edge’ (1961); and Dame Barbara Hepworth, creator of Four Forms (1974). These will be shown alongside Frank Auerbach’s powerful and painterly Head of William Feaver (2008), as well paintings by Graham Sutherland and William Scott.
These are complemented by a number of examples of Concrete and Concrete-influenced art. Max Bill’s Strahlung aus Blau (1972-73) is a very fine example of the Bauhaus-trained Swiss artist’s work, while Jean Gorin’s contemporary pieces reflect the influence of Mondrian’s Neoplasticism. Other featured works in this category are by Martin Blaszko and Mary Martin.
We hope to see you on one of our stands this summer!