Masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum among the many highlights of TEFAF Maastricht

Rarely seen masterpieces from the collection of drawings at the Van Gogh Museum are to be loaned to TEFAF Maastricht for a special exhibition when the Fair that defines excellence in art opens at the MECC (Maastricht Exhibition and Congress Centre) in the southern Netherlands from 15 to 24 March 2013. The 15 drawings loaned by the Amsterdam museum have been specially chosen to illustrate Vincent van Gogh’s development as an artist.
Vincent van Gogh
The European Fine Art Fair, the world’s leading event of its kind, which is renowned for its commitment to excellence, expertise and elegance, will have an extraordinary array of art, antiques and design pieces for sale. These will include a historic reminder of a possible attempt to murder Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, one of the earliest works by the photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot, a painting by Jan Brueghel the Elder which has been owned by the same Italian nobles since it was painted in 1594, and a Pablo Picasso tile dating from 1957.
The 2013 edition of TEFAF will also undergo a major redesign, creating a more spacious atmosphere and employing a special system of hidden lighting.

Van Gogh’s Drawings: Masterpieces from the Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum rarely exhibits works from its collection of drawings by Vincent van Gogh because they are so fragile. However Axel Rüger, Director of the Museum, and curator Marije Vellekoop have selected 15 drawings, all of which are works of art in their own right – some made to practise specific techniques while others are preliminary studies for particular paintings. The loan exhibition, which will be in the TEFAF Paper section of the Fair, will include works from each important phase in Van Gogh’s artistic development. It will be arranged chronologically from Van Gogh’s first ambitious drawings in The Hague, when he focused on figures and landscapes, through his impressive landscape drawings in Nuenen, to his Paris watercolours. In Arles Van Gogh achieved the pinnacle of his drawn oeuvre with reed pen landscapes, in Saint-Rémy he produced colourful drawings of the institution’s gardens while his Auvers landscape drawings are akin to his paintings in style. This is an exhibition not to be missed.

Highlights of TEFAF 2013
More than 260 of the world’s finest art, antiques and design dealers will bring their very best pieces to the 2013 edition of TEFAF Maastricht, attracting private collectors, museum curators, art market professionals and other art lovers from many different countries. Some 72,000 people visited TEFAF 2012 of whom almost half came from outside the Netherlands.
Among the highlights of TEFAF 2013 will be a historic relic of a possible assassination attempt on Tsar Nicholas II of Russia which will be exhibited by Wartski of London. Russian artillerymen firing a ceremonial salute in 1906 were supposed to use blank rounds but one of the guns contained lead grapeshot and one of these large pellets came close to killing the Tsar, and fell at his feet. Grand Duke Nicholas Nicholaievitch, who was standing next to the Tsar, picked it up, took it to Carl Fabergé’s St Petersburg premises and had it mounted as a seal which he presented to Nicholas II as a souvenir of the incident. The Tsar was convinced that someone had tried to kill him although a commission which investigated it said that it was an accident.
Whatever the truth Wartski will offer this historic Fabergé piece for sale for a six figure sum.
TEFAF Maastricht has long been famed for its Old Master paintings and De Jonckheere of Paris will be exhibiting The Crucifixion painted on copper by Jan Brueghel the Elder in 1594. This beautiful work, measuring just 25x35cm, has been owned by the same great Italian princely family since it was created and so will appear on the market at TEFAF Maastricht for the first time in more than four centuries. It is a perfect synthesis of Jan Brueghel’s art. Rob Smeets Old Master Paintings of Geneva will be bringing a wonderful triptych to the Fair. The Virgin and Child, saints and donators by the Master of the Legend of St Mary Magdalene, is an oil on panel painting dated 1533 and bears the coat of arms of the Canizares family.
Another magnificent exhibit in the TEFAF Paintings section will be the huge Prospect of Tottenham Park, Wiltshire by Pieter Andreas Rysbrack, which will be shown by Lowell Libson Ltd of London. Measuring 193x234cm, this depiction of the lush countryside of southern England was commissioned c1743 by Charles Viscount Bruce and remained in the possession of his descendants until recently.
TEFAF Maastricht offers the very best in every section of the Fair and Antiquariat FORUM from the Netherlands will be exhibiting a rare early Latin edition of one of the oldest and most popular texts in early European literature. Historia septem sapientium Romae is bound in contemporary sheepskin parchment and was the first illustrated book printed by Gheraert Leeu in Gouda in the Netherlands c1480. No copy of any edition before 1483 in any language has been recorded in a Dutch library. Another early work in its own field is Adiantum Capillus-Veneris (Maidenhair Fern) which was produced by the photography pioneer William Henry Fox Talbot in early 1839. This photogenic drawing, which will be exhibited by Hans P. Kraus Jr Fine Photographs of New York, represents the type of image first successful for Talbot. It was created by placing a botanical specimen on sensitive paper and exposing it to the sun. It dates from the year that Talbot announced his discovery of photography on paper. Charles Rennie Mackintosh was one of the great artists and designers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Galerie Ulrich Fiedler of Berlin will be bringing a chair that Mackintosh designed for the Argyle Street Tea Room in Glasgow in 1898. Made from solid oak, the chair reflects the simplicity and beauty for which Mackintosh is renowned. Trevor Philip & Sons Ltd of London will show a superb Ptolemaic armillary sphere with delicate and finely engraved brass circles around a central terrestrial globe. It is thought to have been made in London c1754. A fine selection of sculpture by Auguste Rodin and Ossip Zadkine will be among the works displayed by The Robert Bowman Gallery of London at TEFAF.
In TEFAF Modern Marlborough Fine Art of Zurich and London will be showing classic 20th century works including Head of Debbie Ratcliff II by Frank Auerbach, which dates from 1983-84 while Galerie Krugier & Cie from Geneva will exhibit Personnage aux branchages by Pablo Picasso, a painted and enamelled terracotta dating from 1957. Among the many superb works in the Haute Joaillerie section of TEFAF will be contemporary jewellery by Otto Jacob of Karslruhe, including Conmovidas earrings inspired by magnolia blossoms scattered by the wind. The petals are micro pavé set with 279 rubies, 265 pink sapphires, 95 yellow sapphires and 68 diamonds. To achieve the smooth appearance of the micro pavé set surfaces, Jacob selects very small rubies and sapphires with special high-precision cuts and uses microscopes for setting.