T R E A S U R E S
Whether setting up a small display featuring a few works by just one artist - as I did with a series of drawings by Sebastiaen Vrancx - or organising a more elaborate happening (such as our most recent exhibition, Masters of the Antwerp Baroque), I always find great pleasure in telling a story - how did a movement develop and evolve, or what made a particular artist so unique? Our 2018 exhibition, Northern Works on Paper 1550 - 1800, focused on the medium - paper - as the common theme.
However, this way of working has its constraints, especially for a dealer in works by the old masters - and even more so for a young one with limited resources. Sourcing relevant works is no sinecure, especially given the current circumstances. And as each sale matters, "saving them up" for a special occasion can be quite challenging. So instead, to celebrate our re-opening to the public, I am delighted to present you with a mixed display of new finds and old friends, abandoning the idea of an overarching theme or story. (Though I could not resist grouping them, as you will see.)
But why 'treasures'? One thing these works have in common, is that they have all been preserved to this day. This may seem a rather inane observation, but it is actually no mean feat! It is estimated that only somewhere between 5-10% of all old master works ever made have survived until now. It is only because these often fragile works, whether by anonymous masters or 'big names', whether expensive or - relatively - cheap, were treasured by their loving owners and carefully passed down the generations that we can still enjoy and treasure them today.
I hope you will come to Antwerp to see the works at the gallery, which we have renovated during recent months. Seeing the works up close and in person allows one to enjoy the quiet dialogue between these artworks from different places and origins, having been brought together in one room for the first and last time in their existence. If you find yourself unable to do so, I hope you will enjoy this digital alternative.