Dickinson returns to TEFAF Maastricht for the 22nd year and will once again present a broad selection of Old Masters through Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary works. This year’s impressive group will be led by Vincent van Gogh’s July 1885 landscape Paysanne devant une Chaumière (Peasant Woman in front of a Farmhouse), one of the finest and largest examples from the artist’s Dutch period. It will hang alongside an important early Picasso still life, Mandoline et portée de musique (1923-24), a lifetime cast of Rodin’s Petite Eve (1883/1917); and other highlights.
Van Gogh’s Paysanne devant une Chaumière, a view of Brabant peasant cottages, is noteworthy for its tale of fortuitous rediscovery, as well as for its appealingly large scale, brightening palette, lively brushwork and prominent signature. Having reached England by the 1920s, the painting reemerged in 1968 when Italian journalist Dr. Luigi Grosso made an extraordinary find in a Hampstead antique shop, purchasing it for just £45. Dr. Grosso contacted Alan Bowness – later Director of the Tate Gallery – who authenticated the work with the help of X-ray technology: scans revealed a painting underneath a painting, with the earlier composition of a ploughman corresponding closely with an existing Van Gogh drawing. Also among Dickinson’s Impressionist and Modern pictures Dickinson are three works by Picasso, led by a large-scale oil composition, Mandoline et portée de musique. This painting features an autumnal palette with sand mixed into the wet paint, and belongs to a remarkably inventive group of still lifes from the early 1920s which saw Picasso revisiting his Pre-War Cubist experiments. It was first owned by the dealer Paul Rosenberg, and its impressive provenance also lists noteworthy collectors Luritia ‘Rue’ Winterbotham Carpenter, G. David Thompson, Ernst Beyeler, and Lilian and James H. Clark.
Other highlights include a lifetime cast of one of Auguste Rodin’s most celebrated sculptures, Petite Eve, conceived in 1883 and cast in 1917, where the figure’s inward-turning pose references Michelangelo’s magnificent Sistine ceiling fresco; and René Magritte’s Le Civilisateur (1944), an Impressionist-inspired portrait of the artist’s beloved white Pomeranian, Jackie. Post-War and Contemporary works include Lucio Fontana’s Concetto Spaziale; and Thomas Houseago’s Sitting Man (Construction) from 2009.
The 19th century is represented by Jean-Léon Gérôme’s Master of the Hounds (1871); and one of the finest of Edward Lear’s views of The Forest of Bavella, Corsica, which has remained in the same private collection for nearly half a century.
Among the featured Old Masters are Giovanni Paolo Panini’s Rome, the Pantheon, a view of the interior (1734), an exceptional signed and dated view first owned by William Holbech of Farnborough Hall, and now being sold by the Asbjorn Lunde Foundation to support charitable endeavours in the arts; Marcantonio Franceschini’s bucolic Pastoral Scene with a nymph and a shepherd, originally from Castello di Piovera and published on the cover of the catalogue raisonné; a charismatic portrait by Sir Peter Lely; and Claude-Joseph Vernet’s characteristic and atmospheric The Port of Genoa, which hails from the Dartmouth collection.