IT may sound a little gimmicky, but one of the most captivating TEFAF exhibits this year was an animated version of Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder’s Vase With Flowers in a Window by the contemporary artists Rob and Nick Carter on the stand of London’s Fine Art Society.
looped film proved enthralling to visitors - one visitor, a Dutch
archaeologist, was watching the whole thing for a bet, fuelled by
the occasional glass of wine. Her biggest challenge over the 180
minutes was resisting the call of nature. The film shows the scene
move from morning to dusk, with almost imperceptible movements, and
took two years to make.
It was shown
within a Dutch Golden Age-style 2ft 5in x 2ft 10in (74 x 86cm)
Not only did its
crawling caterpillars and closing blooms prove popular, but it
proved an astounding commercial success too as, nearing the end of
the fair, FAS had sold all but one of the edition of 12. And as the
number available fell, the price rose steadily, from €80,000 to
€85,000 for the last one.
Museum in The Hague, where the original painting is held, have been
given number 1 of the edition in appreciation of their help in
creating the work. Many of the museum's primary exhibits will soon
travel on loan to America, while a two-year refurbishment takes
place and as their Bosschaert the Elder is in fragile condition, it
has been suggested they will send the Carter graphic in its
Incidentally, Old Master dealer Johnny van Haeften had a similar
version of Bosschaert the Elder's A Vase of Flowers in a
Window at the fair, and this oil on copper was sold with
a rather larger asking price of £1.95m.