From June 27 to July 5, Summer 2019 London Art Week is the biggest yet – with 50 different dealers and auction houses from Mayfair & St James’s, Europe and the US participating. The galleries are staging selling exhibitions spanning 5,000 years of art from antiquity to 21st century. Here are some of the not-to-be-missed highlights.
Landscape - Twilight by Samuel Palmer (1805-81) at Guy Peppiatt Fine Art: this rare oil painting by one of England’s greatest Romantic artists dates from his famed and highly sought-after Shoreham period between 1827 and 1835. There he produced his boldest, most visionary work, romanticising the natural world. Palmer led an artistic group called The Ancients, united in their love of William Blake and an idealised view of the past. The asking price is £1.95 million.
Bernardo Bellotto (1722-1780), The Grand Canal, Venice, looking South-East from the Palazzo Michiel dalle Colonne to the Fondaco dei Tedeschi, is part of Charles Beddington Fine Art’s exhibition Canaletto, Bellotto and their Circle. This very early work c1738, when the teenage Bellotto worked in the studio of his uncle Canaletto, ticks every box - fresh to the market, in outstanding original condition and with an unbroken provenance back to the 18th century.
Vulcan Cast Down at S. Franses: from the exhibition The Lost Tapestries of Charles I, this large-scale tapestry is the last on the market from a series of nine depicting Vulcan and Venus commissioned c1620 by Charles I when Prince of Wales. It was one of the first tapestries woven at the Royal Mortlake workshop. Two of the series are in the V&A. The remaining six were cut up by William Morris during Queen Victoria’s reign to create the tapestry room at St James's palace.
The Renaissance Casket from Newbattle Abbey at Georg Laue, Kunstkammer Ltd. & Trinity Fine Art: made by the Master of Perspective in Nuremberg, and dated 1565, this is one of the first works in Northern Europe to use perspective and geometric polyhedral in its decoration. On public view for the first time since 1883 it testifies to the interaction between art and science. Priced around £700,000.
Philip Stanhope c1750 by Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (1708-1787) at Lowell Libson & Jonny Yarker Ltd: this portrait depicts the illegitimate son of Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield. Philip junior, in Rome between December 1749 and March 1750, received a stream of letters from his father instructing him on every aspect of his life. The correspondence was sensationally published in 1774 as Letters to His son on the Art of Becoming a Man of the World and a Gentleman. Their perceived immorality ensured continual reprints, making it one of the most enduring books of the eighteenth century. The painting is priced at £700,000.
A Spy of the Christino Army brought before the Carlist General-In-Chief Zumalacarregui by John Frederick ‘Spanish’ Lewis (1804-1876) is a major rediscovery at Karen Taylor Fine Art. The large watercolour has not been seen in public since 1891, and has come from a private English collection. It will be shown in its original exhibition frame, designed to make it look like an oil painting. Lewis depicts a dramatic moment during the Carlist wars in Spain in the 1830s, which he witnessed first-hand. A wife pleads for the life of her husband, a captured spy of the Christino army, at the feet of the famous Carlist General Zumalacarregui.
From London to Lucknow: A Re-Discovered Collection of Drawings by Johan Zoffany (1733-1810) is at new participant Andrew Clayton-Payne. A sensitive and intimate portrait c1797 of the artist’s daughter Cecilia Clementina Eliza (1779-1830) carries a price tag of £115,000 (although works start from £8,000). After Zoffany came to London from Germany his first major patron was actor David Garrick, then Queen Charlotte. In 1769 he was nominated by King George III for membership in the Royal Academy.
‘A World Caught with the Eye and Held by the Pencil’: Drawings by Adolph Menzel, at Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, is devoted to one of the greatest draughtsmen of the nineteenth century, the German artist Adolph Menzel (1815-1905), and is a unique opportunity to see the breadth of this artist’s skill in the first UK solo show since 1984. Accompanied by a scholarly catalogue, the exhibition includes over forty drawings, in chalk, watercolour, pastel and gouache, spanning Menzel’s career from the 1840s to the 1890s.
Expressive Souls at Daniel Katz Gallery features a rare marble piece by Viennese sculptor Elsa Kalmàr-Kövesházi (1876-1956). This extremely original and provocative rendition of a modern day Salome, executed in 1907, was most likely inspired by the opening of Richard Strauss’ adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s Salomé in Vienna that year. The asking price is in the region of £350,000.
Medieval Art in England at Sam Fogg is an internationally-important new show devoted to English art from the 6th to the 16th centuries, when England was a key player on the cultural stage, and a thriving hotbed for artists whose surviving works together tell the story of immigration, trade and cross-cultural ex change.
Leoncillo - Drawings & Sculptures at Galleria Del Laocoonte and Galleria W. Apolloni: Leoncillo Leonardi (19151968) was renowned for his large abstract works in ceramics and glazed terracotta: this exhibition aims to revive interest in his early works, beginning in the 1930s with figurative ceramic sculptures.
Silk and Finery: Dress in Art 1700-1900 at Didier Aaron includes an enchanting drawing by Charles-FrancoisPierre de la Traverse (1726-1787) of a Woman Holding a Flute, a design for a theatre costume for the performance given in honour of the marriage in Madrid, 1764, of the Infanta Maria-Louisa de Bourbon to the Archduke Leopold of Habsburg-Lorraine. From a number of recently-discovered drawings, this is the first direct evidence of the artist’s involvement in the performance, and allows the modern viewer to visualise the theatrical performances of some of the most fashionable actors of the mid-C18th.