A busy eight days in early December will see the capital’s leading auction houses and fine art galleries from around the UK and Europe taking part in the Winter 2023 edition of London Art Week from Friday 1st to Friday 8th December. Exhibitions and sales will take place online and in galleries across central London, revealing important and exciting works. From Renaissance and Old Master rarities to Modern and Contemporary paintings, drawings and sculpture, and encompassing exceptional works of art and craftsmanship, including, rare furniture, books and manuscripts, this year’s Winter edition of London Art Week offers the best selection of the finest art on the market.
The 2023 LAW Symposium, The Art of Conservation – Preservation, Restoration and Framing, takes place on Tuesday 5th December at the recently reopened National Portrait Gallery. In partnership with The Burlington Magazine, there will be three panel talks with leading curators, conservators and LAW experts. These will investigate such topics as: how study informs conservation treatment; exciting moments from the history of conservation, including important contributions from women, based on the panellists’ articles in The Burlington Magazine’s new publication The Art of Conservation co-published with Paul Holberton (pre-launch on the day); and historic picture frames and their changing fashions, 27 years after the UK’s first exhibition devoted to picture frames was held at the National Portrait Gallery. Lynn Roberts and Paul Mitchell, authors of Frameworks, Form, Function & Ornament and A History of European Picture Frames, who were closely involved with that exhibition, will be joined by conservators from the National Gallery and National Portrait Gallery. Tickets to the Symposium are £20.
Charles Landseer (1799-1879), Byron; The Maid of Athens/A Greek Girl, 1845, oil on board, Abbott & Holder
Several talks will take place during London Art Week relating to exhibitions:
Monday 4 December – Moretti Fine Art will hold a discussion in their gallery about The execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche, a preparatory sketch rediscovered (time TBC).
Tuesday 5 December 7:00-8:30pm – coinciding with his exhibition at David Messum Fine Art, artist Sean Jefferson will discuss the many layers of symbolism in his Twelve Days of Christmas (online + booking fee)
Wednesday 6 December 6:00pm – at Shapero Modern artist, printmaker and designer Rory Hutton will give a half hour talk on his most recent work.
Joaquín Sorolla Y Bastida (1863-1923), Children in the Sea, 1908, oil on canvas, © Colnaghi; a very rare fine engine-turned Box & Cover with the Tudor Rose attrib. to the ‘Master Turner’ to the Court of Henry VIII, c. 1540-60, ivory, Finch & Co
Among exhibitions and auctions to visit in person during LAW Winter this December:
Stephen Ongpin Fine Art
4-20 December: Annual Christmas exhibition of over sixty Old Master, 19th century and Modern drawings and watercolours priced between £500 and £15,000.
Sam Fogg will be presenting a selection of new acquisitions and highlights across the mediums of medieval sculpture, painting, metalwork, ceramics and stained glass, all produced between 1200 and 1520.
Ben Elwes Fine Art
Until 15 December: For the first time in the UK, a group of seven monumental paintings by the Aymara Bolivian artist Alejandro Mario Yllanes (1913-c.1960) which have not been seen in public for over 30 years.
22 November-22 December: Prints by Rory Hutton, award-winning British artist, printmaker and historian, well-known for his series of scarves created for museums and cultural institutions.
Henriëtte Vaillant (1875-1949), Bust-length study of a man in profile, 1930, pastel on paper, Elliott Fine Art; Paul Delaroche (1797-1856), Execution of Lady Jane Grey (preparatory sketch), oil on canvas, Moretti Fine Art; Auguste Renoir, L’homme qui marche, Étude pour le Torse (The Walking Man, Study for the Torso), 1877, bronze, Willoughby Gerrish
16-25 November then online: Classic first editions, Christmas ephemera and festive artworks by celebrated artists – first editions of Christmas classics by Charles Dickens, Clement C. Moore, Agatha Christie and J.K. Rowling, to charming original poems, royal greeting cards, evocative Victorian chromolithographic books and original artwork from timeless tales. Continues online through December.
22 November-7 December: Classic Week auctions, including Old Master Paintings on 6 December.
Adrien de Montigny (Fl.1590-1610), The Village & Chateau D’agimont (1597) from The Albums De Croÿ, gouache on vellum, Nonesuch Gallery; Oswald Achenbach (1827-1905), View of the piazza del Quirinale in Rome, oil on canvas, Paolo Antonacci
In St. James’s…
Eros Gallery (new participant for Winter 2023|)
1-22 December: a new project from Willoughby Gerrish, Eros Gallery is dedicated to artworks from the 19th and early 20th century, with a specific interest in sculpture. It launches with a highly significant exhibition exploring the parallels between two ground-breaking sculptors: Auguste Rodin, and his contemporary Aime-Jules Dalou, greatly celebrated in his own time yet today barely known beyond artistic circles. This major survey features over 50 works of art drawn primarily from three important collections.
Clase Fine Art
6-20 December: in partnership with Fiumano Clase, a winter exhibition Chasing Elsewhere, a group selling show by contemporary artists curated by Karen Tronel.
Guy Peppiatt Fine Art
27Nov-15 December: One Hundred Drawings and Watercolours featuring works on paper by British artists of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries including landscapes, studies, portraits and animals.
David Messum Fine Art
29 Nov-22 December: Sean Jefferson : The Twelve Days of Christmas & Other Works, curated by David Boyd Haycock. Contemporary works inspired by the popular folkloric carol.
1 December 2023 – 5 January 2024: Sorolla: A Celebration of Life – this seminal show will feature fifteen masterpieces by Joaquín Sorolla (1863-1923), several of which are new to the market. 2023 marks the centenary of his death, a fitting occasion to honour the major role he played within the canon of Spanish art history. Together with John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, he was the most celebrated painter of his time, whose output is key to understanding fin de siècle European art.
Moretti Fine Art
1-15 December: The execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche, a preparatory sketch rediscovered.
7-15 December: Classic Week auctions including Old Masters Part I on 7 December and Old Masters Part II Paintings, Drawings & Watercolours on 8 December.
Antoine Bouvard Snr (1870-1955), The Santa Maria Della Salute & Looking Towards The Doge’s Palace, (one of a pair), oil on canvas, Haynes Fine Art
And gallery exhibitions elsewhere across London…
Haynes Fine Art / Pimlico Road
1-23 December: Cityscapes – paintings of London, Paris and Venice by 19th to 21st century artists such as Edouard Cortès, Charles Malle, Claude Venard, David Shepherd and Haynes’ resident contemporary artist Tony Karpinski.
Abbott & Holder / Bloomsbury
December: List 543.
Finch & Co / Cromwell Place
5-10 December: A new catalogue and corresponding exhibition, a highlight of which is an extremely rare and very fine ivory Turned Box and Cover with the Tudor Rose attributed to the ‘Master Turner’ to the Court of Henry VIII, c. 1540-60. A very similar turning is the ivory turned case housing a miniature of Ann of Cleves by Hans Holbein, 1539, now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Sir William Nicholson 1872-1949, Snow at Bretton Park, 1939, oil on panel, Patrick Bourne & Co; Camillo Innocenti (1871-1961), The Sicilian Cart (Il Carretto Siciliano), 1917, oil on canvas, Reve Art
Online Exhibitions and Highlight works to discover via the LAW website…
Patrick Bourne & Co
Highlight: as leading dealers in the works of Sir William Nicholson (1872-1949), the gallery will showcase Snow at Bretton Park, a 1939 signed oil on panel.
Karen Taylor Fine Art
Highlight: a powerful drawing by the French painter, sculptor and etcher Alphonse Legros (1837-1911) who moved to London at the behest of Whistler in 1863. He became Professor of Fine Art at the Slade from 1875-1892, laying the foundation for the School’s tradition of fine draughtsmanship.
Online exhibition: Drawings & Paintings from France c.1600-1900, includes a single work from a now dispersed comprehensive visual catalogue depicting the properties and lands of the Duc du Croÿ (1560-1612), a gouache on vellum showing The Village & Chateau D’agimont (1597) From The Albums De Croÿ by Adrien De Montigny (Fl.1590-1610).
Highlight: A unique twelve-leaf folding screen, made in late seventeenth-century South China for the local market, which belongs to a rare group of about eight other known lacquered screens of the period depicting Dutchmen. Related examples are in the National Museum of Denmark, Copenhagen, the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Dominic Fine Art
Highlight: Still Life of Fish / Ingredients for a Bouillabaisse, by Auguste Lauzet (1863-1898), dedicated “a L’excellent ami Paul Guigou | A Lauzet 82”. Lauzet was one of the few mourners at Vincent van Gogh’s funeral and is mentioned in 16 of his letters sent between December 1889 and Vincent’s death in July 1890, around which time Theo van Gogh had suggested the two artists share a studio in Paris.
Highlight: Oswald Achenbach (A827-1905), View of the piazza del Quirinale in Rome, shown here for the first time on the market (see top of page). The painting comes from an illustrious German family who had left it on permanent loan to the Kunstmuseum in Düsseldorf, where it was displayed from 1983 onwards.
A pair of chairs from the collection of William Beckford, English 1827-1844, H. Blairman & Sons;
Marie Auguste Lauzet (1863-1898), Still Life of Fish / Ingredients for a Bouillabaisse, dedicated “a L’excellent ami Paul Guigou | A Lauzet 82”, oil on canvas, Dominic Fine Art
H. Blairman & Sons
Highlight: a pair of armchairs from the collection of William Beckford, possibly from Fonthill Abbey. English, 1827-1844.
Stuart Lochhead Sculpture
Highlight: a fine terracotta portrait bust by Joseph Chinard (1756-1813), the most accomplished sculptor in post-Revolutionary France, and a rare documented commission. It represents Alexis Guiffrey, the son of a Lyonnais merchant, at the age of three. Commissioned by the parents of the sitter the bust was executed ‘from life’ by Chinard in 1803, and eventually formed part of the collection of the famous French art historian Jules Guiffrey, the nephew of Alexis.
Highlight: a biscuit porcelain bust after the model by Johann Gottfried Schadow (1764-1850) made by the Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur, Berlin c. 1874. It depicts Crown Princess Luise of Prussia (Luise of Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1776-1810)) who married Crown Prince Frederick of Prussia on the 24 December 1793. Her sister Friederike married his younger brother a few days later. Their arrival in Berlin caused a sensation, with Schadow stating “a magic spell had taken effect in Berlin, extending through all estates, with the appearance of the aristocratic sisters”.
Thomas Coulborn & Sons
Highlight: an extremely rare mechanical George IV octagonal parquetry table c. 1825. It features a beautiful octagonal oak top with parquetry blocks pattern and decorative stringing to the edges, but its most remarkable secret is the lockable catch on the underside of the top which reveals piano style keys – when depressed, each open a corresponding ‘hidden’ drawer. The lock is stamped ‘GR’.
Online exhibition: Venezia ‘900. From Biennale to Ca’ Pesaro
Joseph Chinard (1756-1813), Alexis Guiffrey Aged Three, 1803, terracotta, Stuart Lochhead Sculpture; Newton Smith Limbird Fielding (1799-1856), A Dog chasing a Snipe, 1839, watercolour over pencil heightened with bodycolour, Guy Peppiatt Fine Art
Highlight: The Woman in Black, c.1885 by Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931). Forain, a former student of Jean-Léon Gérôme at the École de beaux Arts in Paris was an associate of the Impressionists and is perhaps best remembered as a lead caricaturist of the Belle Époque. He worked for Le Figaro for over 30 years and his drawings of the everyday life of Parisians went on to inspire artists such as Henri Toulouse-Lautrec.
Jean-Louis Forain (1852-1931), The Woman in Black, c.1885, oil on panel, Stair Sainty
The Fine Art Society
Highlight: Frederick Burrows (fl. 1900), Design for silk for the National Competition, 1902, signed and inscribed in pen and pencil – a work in watercolour, gouache and pencil on paper that was exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, National Competition for the Schools of Art in 1902. This work can be seen at FAS Edinburgh in an exhibition Frederick Burrows – Textile Designs open until 22 December 2023.
Elliott Fine Art
Online exhibition: A Different Vision: Paintings and Drawings from the 20th Century shows the talents of lesser-known artists deserving greater attention, or sheds light on overlooked aspects of major figures.
Colnaghi Elliott Master Drawings
Online exhibition: Drawings from the 19th Century.
Daniel Katz Gallery
Highlight: Isaac Israels was a leading figure of the Amsterdam Impressionism movement. He spent much time in Paris from the 1890s where he enjoyed painting city life en plein air, developing a distinctive style. He relocated to London in 1913, where he redirected his artistic interests toward the dynamic study of boxers and wrestlers. Two Boxers is one of the largest and arguably the most successful of this fascinating series of pictures.
Exhibitors and full information can be found on the website www.londonartweek.co.uk.