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    Tuesday, January 16th, 2024
    Ludovico Mazzolino’s (c. 1480 – c. 1530) – The Crossing of the Red Sea (1521)

    Ludovico Mazzolini’s 1521 painting of The Crossing of the Red Sea in the collection of the National Gallery of Ireland is to be restored thanks to a grant from TEFAF, The European Fine Art Foundation. TEFAF announced today that Ireland’s National Gallery and the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art (Connecticut, USA) are the recipients of this year’s TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund (TMRF). This is an annual grant created in support of the international art community’s vital work to preserve artistic and cultural heritage.

    Remarkable for its size and rarity Mazzolino’s biblical artwork departs from the conventional rules of perspective. It has been in the collection of the gallery for over a century but it cannot be displayed in its current fragile state. With severe delamination of the paint layer and soiling to the cracked surface The Crossing of the Red Sea requires extensive conservation efforts. With TEFAF’s funding, the National Gallery of Ireland will collaborate with experts in Mazzolino’s work to better understand his artistic practice so that this rare large-scale masterpiece can be sensitively restored and made accessible to the visiting public.

    Dr Caroline Campbell, Director of the National Gallery of Ireland, commented, “Ludovico Mazzolino was a prominent painter in sixteenth-century Italy, where he worked for the Este court in Ferrara and later in Bologna. The Crossing of the Red Sea is recognized internationally as an important and rare large-scale example of his work. It has been part of the National Gallery of Ireland’s collection since 1914, acquired just 50 years after we opened our doors. Unfortunately, due to the fragility of the panel, we have been unable to put it on display for many decades. We are delighted to receive this grant from the TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund, which will enable us to undertake essential conservation treatment on this striking painting and make it possible to return it to our galleries for the enjoyment of our visitors.”

    The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut, has received funding from TEFAF to restore Venus with a Nymph and Satyr (1600), a marble sculpture by Pietro Francavilla (1548 – 1615). The TEFAF Museum Restoration Fund was established in 2012 to support and promote professional restoration and related scholarly research of significant museum artworks. Championing art in all its forms, applications for its grants are open to museums from all over the world and artworks of any age. Each year, a maximum of €50,000 is allocated to projects. The committee of independent experts usually selects two winners to each receive up to €25,000 to support their restoration project.

    Pietro Francavilla’s Venus with a Nymph and Satyr (1600)


    Sunday, February 19th, 2023

    A c1650 artwork by Michaelina Wautier at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp and an Egon Schiele painting  at the Neue Galerie, New York are to be restored with grants from The European Fine Art Foundation.  TEFAF has announced the two museums as recipients this year of its annual grant for the preservation of artistic and cultural heritage.  Two Girls as Saints Agnes and Dorothea by Wautier (pictured here) has been at the Royal Museum in Antwerp since 1910.  It was not definitely identified as a work by Wautier until 2003.  The artist made a name for herself in the 17th century and has begun to regain renown since the early 2000’s.  Town Among the Greenery (The Old City III) by Schiele was gifted to the Neue Galerie in 2006. TEFAF Maastricht takes place from March 11-19.


    Wednesday, June 29th, 2022

    THERE were dramatic scenes at TEFAF in Maastricht as four men with a sledgehammer broke into a jewellery display and escaped with an unknown quantity of jewellery. No one was hurt but the fair was closed for an hour in consequence. At least one of the raiders is thought to have been armed with a gun. It was one blot on an otherwise unblemished TEFAF fair, which had reported strong sales. TEFAF is normally held in March but was postponed for three months as lockdowns gradually ended. The theft occurred at the stand of upscale London luxury jewellers Symbolic and Chase of Old Bond St. TEFAF runs until June 30.

    Here is a video of the robbery:



    Monday, June 27th, 2022
    Greek enthroned goddess – Thebes, c.540 – 520 BC Terracotta

    Charles Ede of London is displaying this terracotta of a Greek goddess from Thebes at TEFAF, Mastricht, which continues until June 30. Collectors, museums, and art lovers returned in force to the opening weekend of the first TEFAF Maastricht to take place since 2020. Sales are reported to have been good. There was strong presence from the museum community with over 100 institutions sending representatives to the fair and reports of robust sales to this audience alongside significant acquisitions by private collectors.  Museums in attendance included the Metropolitan Museum of Art, J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago from the US along with the British Museum, Courtauld Institute of Art, and Ashmolean Museum from the UK.  Other major European institutions visiting included the Musée de Louvre, the Rijksmuseum, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, and the national galleries of Denmark, Berlin, Scotland, and Ireland.


    Tuesday, June 14th, 2022

    Frans Pourbus II (1569 – 1622) – Vincenzo Gonzaga, Duke of Mantua (1562 – 1612)

    The Weiss Gallery, London, will bring this arresting 1602 portrait by Frans Pourbos to TEFAF Maasticht which runs from June 25-30. The artist, arguably the most sought-after court portrait painter throughout western Europe during the first decades of the seventeenth century, here depicts his greatest patron, Vincenzo Gonzaga, the Duke of Mantua, in an imperial manner appropriate for a revered European prince. The Duke proudly wears the prestigious Order of the Golden Fleece, which was conferred to him by Philip II of Spain in 1589.

    Under Vincenzo’s reign, the ducal household comprised of more than six hundred people and it was famously extravagant, not least for the art collection amassed by the duke and his forebears. Between 1627 and 1630 a part of the collection was sold to King Charles I – much of these purchases remain key pieces from the British Royal Collection – while the rest was to be scattered following the sacking of the ducal palace in 1630 by imperial troops during a dispute over the Gonzaga succession. At one time the collection consisted of well over 2,000 paintings and more than 20,000 works of art, including bronzes, marbles, medals, coins, armour, ceramics, as well as rare manuscripts and books, making the Gonzaga collection one of the greatest ever amassed.

    Frans Pourbus II was born in Antwerp and naturalised French in 1617. He was the most influential court painter of the late-sixteenth and early- seventeenth centuries.


    Tuesday, September 14th, 2021
    Portrait of a Man in Armour, c1560, attributed to Gillis Claeissens,

    This Portrait of a Man in Armour, presented by Caretto & Occhinegro at TEFAF Online was acquired by Groeningemuseum, Belgium. Over the course of six days collectors and institutions, including some of the world’s most eminent museums gathered online to learn, discuss, and buy work at the top levels of the international market. Nicolaas Teeuwisse OHG sold Tabula Cebetis (c1550), by the Venetian School, to Rijksprentenkabinet, Amsterdam. A Groeningemuseum, Belgium,  acquired Caretto & Occhinegro’s Portrait of a Man in Armour (c1560), attributed to Gillis Claeissens. Scene in an Italian Country Inn, Possibly a Self-Portrait of the Artist with Her Husband on Their Wedding Trip (1821/25), by Hortense Haudebourt-Lescot, presented by Gallery 19C, was acquired by The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts. Among many other notable sales a leading Eastern European museum purchased Rococo-Écuelle with Présentoir and Spoon (1751-53) from Helga Matzke.

    “Whether online or in-person, TEFAF is a hub of scholarship, creativity, and expertise, which is reflected in the market success of this year’s fair,” said Charlotte van Leerdam, Managing Director of TEFAF. “We are pleased with the reception of TEFAF Online 2021, attracting not only private buyers, but a strong contingent of public institutions and eminent museums, evidence that the work presented at TEFAF is the golden standard of quality. We are eager to welcome this growing community to Maastricht again next March”.


    Saturday, September 11th, 2021

    Siobhan Hapaska is one of a very small number of Irish artists who feature at TEFAF online fair.  This not to be missed event runs until September 13 with no less than 255 leading global dealers available to everyone at the click of a keyboard. It offers masterworks across all collecting categories. Us is the title of this piece by Hapaska at Hidde van Seggelen’s gallery, previously based in London and operating out of Hamburg since 2018. Hidde van Seggelen is chairman of TEFAF. Hapaska uses a variety of synthetic and natural materials to create work that ranges from abstract to hyperrealistic. Born in Belfast in 1963 Hapaska’s art is in numerous public and private collections including Tate Modern and the British Council.  In Ireland she is represented by the Kerlin Gallery. 

    Siobhan Hapaska – Us  Image copyright the artist and Kerlin Gallery.


    Wednesday, September 8th, 2021

    The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF) has virtually gathered a community of collectors, institutions, and art lovers from around the world for todays preview of TEFAF Online 2021. The fair will open to the public tomorrow and runs until September 13. This second edition of TEFAF’s digital fair brings the rich stories behind each work of art to life through TEFAF Collections, robust virtual programming, and the unsurpassed scholarship of over 267 top exhibitors. 

    “TEFAF Online 2021 is a celebration of expertise, art and storytelling.” said Charlotte van Leerdam, Managing Director of TEFAF. “We are grateful that our community is able to come together safely online during this time to enjoy the beauty of these works and continue participating in the top levels of the international art market from wherever they are in the world.”



    Thursday, August 26th, 2021

    THE National Museum Wales is to restore Édouard Manet’s (1832-1883) Portrait de Monsieur Jules Dejouy, 1879 thanks to funding from The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF). The museum is to receive €20,000 as part of TEFAF’s museum restoration fund, an annual grant created in support of the international art community’s vital work to preserve artistic and cultural heritage. The Manet was acquired in 2019 after more than ninety years in a private family collection. Jules Dejouy (1815-1894) was Manet’s older cousin and an important figure in the artists life. He was a successful lawyer, appointed to the Imperial Court in France in 1849. After the death of the artist’s father in 1862, Dejouy was appointed as chief counsellor and guide to Manet and his brothers. Manet relied on him in key ways throughout his life. During the siege of Paris in 1870 the artist sent valuables to his cousin for safekeeping. Dejouy was also appointed by Manet as his executor. He was part of the committee that organised an 1884 exhibition following Manet’s death, alongside Emile Zola, painters such as Fantin-Latour and dealers like Durand-Ruel and Georges Petit. This portrait was included in that exhibition.

    Édouard Manet (1832-1883), Portrait de Monsieur Jules Dejouy, 1879.


    Sunday, August 15th, 2021

    Leading international dealers from New York to London to Paris to Mumbai and Tokyo and all points between will take part in the online version of The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF)  online fair. This daddy of all fairs will  run from September 9-13 with no less than 255 world class exhibitors available to everyone at the click of a keyboard. TEFAF is normally held in Maastricht and in New York in latter day pre-pandemic years. Exhibitors are known for the unrivaled quality of the works they present from antiquity to the present day. Organisers say the event will offer exciting new digital features to showcase a rich array of more than 700 works. There will be 12 next exhibitors.Meantime the British Museum, with the support of TEFAF, has announced a project ot restore eight ancient glass vessels severely damaged in the Beirut port explosion last August.  Dating from the Roman and Islamic periods they were on display at the Archaeological Museum at the American University of Beirut, 3.2 kms from the blast. The collaboration will see hundreds of glass fragments pieced together and restored at the conservation laboratories at the British Museum.

    A 1st/2nd century AD marble Head Fragment of a Polykleitan Youth at TEFAF.  Image Courtesy of Kallos Gallery London.