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    Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017
    Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) Portrait of an African Woman Holding a Clock, circa 1585

    Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) Portrait of an African Woman Holding a Clock, circa 1585

    A rare late 16th century portrait of An African Woman holding a Clock by Annibale Carracci (1560-1609) will be brought to TEFAF, The European Fine Art Fair at Maastricht by Tomasso Brothers Fine Art. A full provenance for the work by the renowned Italian Baroque artist has been established and it includes King Philip V of Spain and Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington. The oil on canvas portrait was painted circa 1585 and depicts a finely dressed African woman holding a gilded clock and commanding a direct gaze.  She wears a necklace of coral, pearl earrings, and intriguingly presents to the viewer a timepiece of extreme luxury and technological advancement, perhaps reflecting the sitter’s, or patron’s, modernity and intellect.

    During the 1580s Annibale Carracci was painting the most radical and innovative pictures in Europe. He introduced a new, broken brushwork technique to represent the effects of light on form, which gave his works an intimacy and immediacy.

    In-depth research by Leeds and London based Tomasso Brothers has revealed the rich history of this unusual painting; it passed from the studio of the artist Carlo Maratti (1625-1713) to Philip V of Spain via one of Maratti’s disciples, Andrea Procaccini (1671-1734), who was painter to Phillip V and in charge of decorating the monarch’s new palace San Ildefonso in Segovia.  In August 1812 the painting was made a gift to Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, along with 11 other works, following his stay at San Ildefonso Palace during the Spanish War of Independence.  It remained in a private collection until sold by Christie’s London in 2005.  The work was shown at The Walters Art Museum and Princeton University Art Museum (USA 2013) in the exhibition ‘Revealing the African presence in Renaissance Europe’. TEFAF is at Maastricht from March 10-19.


    Sunday, March 6th, 2016

    A pair of polychrome marble portrait busts of Cicero, civic hero of the Roman Republic, and Horace, the famed poet have been reunited by Tomasso Brothers Fine Art for TEFAF, which runs at Maastricht from March 1120.  Carved in the same 17th century Roman workshop, theyhave an illustrious provenance.  Originally part of the Valletta collection in Naples, they were acquired around 1721 by Thomas Herbert, the 8th Earl of Pembroke (1654–1733) for Wilton House, near Salisbury, one of England’s finest stately houses. They were displayed at the heart of one of the finest private art collections ever assembled in Europe for more than two centuries.  They flanked the main chimneypiece in the Earl’s ‘sanctum sanctorum’ of the Great ‘Double Cube’ Room designed by Inigo Jones, amongst family portraits by Sir Anthony Van Dyck, and works formerly in the esteemed collections of Cardinals Mazarin and Richelieu, King Charles I of England and Thomas Howard, the 14th Earl of Arundel.

    Pembroke’s influence on the tastes and collecting trends of the aristocratic English in the early eighteenth century were considerable.  When he embarked on his Grand Tour in 1676 and set about building a collection in the 1680s, he was all but alone.  Yet the fame of the galleries at Wilton House spread amongst the aristocracy, and by the time of his death in 1733, many of England’s great country houses were beginning to be decorated with antiquities, renaissance and baroque sculpture.  It is through the expertise of Tomasso Brothers Fine Art that the two works have been reunited since their dispersal from Wilton House. Cicero came into the gallery’s collection a short while after the directors had become aware of Horace. They knew instinctively that they were both great 17th century busts, and that the particular specimen of imperial porphyry used for the Horace was a wonderful quality. Whilst recognising the physical similarities of the two works, it was finding an old photograph of the Double Cube Room at Wilton House that set off months of study to discover the full history of the busts.






    Friday, August 7th, 2015

    A collection of small-scale European sculptures from antiquity to the modern period will be shown by Tomasso Brothers Fine Art at the Pavilion of Art & Design in Berkeley Square, London, from October 14-18 October.  Carefully chosen to appeal to the collectors and enthusiasts of 20th century design and arts that PAD attracts, the works in bronze, marble, wood and a variety of media will be exhibited as a contemporary collector’s cabinet in a modernist-style room setting.

    Highlights include a fine pair of 18th century ivory statuettes of Flemish Baroque painters Sir Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) and Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641), by James Francis Verskovis (d.1768); an exquisite pair of bronze figures of Mars and Venus by the French sculptor Sebastien Slodtz (1655-1726) and a striking modern work of a female figure by Peter King (1928-1957), a prolific artist, peer of Caro and Frink, exceptional sculptor and assistant to Henry Moore.

    “We are excited to be exhibiting at PAD London for the first time. We believe it is important to reach out to new collectors by presenting Master sculpture in an environment with which they are more familiar,”said Dino Tomasso, gallery Director. “We’ve designed a modernist-style collector’s cabinet, very different to our classically-inspired stands at fairs such as TEFAF and Masterpiece.”

    James Francis Verskovis -  Rubens and Van Dyck (Ivory)

    James Francis Verskovis – Rubens and Van Dyck (Ivory)

    Peter King - Female Figure, elm wood

    Peter King – Female Figure, elm wood