London Art Week (LAW) is among the events that mark the height of London’s summer season. Running from June 29-July 6, participating galleries across Mayfair and St James’s use the event as a chance to treat clients and guests, old and new, to a host of special exhibitions, events, talks and open days.
Coinciding with the Old Master paintings and drawings sales at the major London auction houses, LAW is also a chance for dealers from out of town to take a temporary space in the area. More than 40 dealers are signed up to attend.
Below is a taste of some of the highlights so far revealed ahead of this year’s LAW.
Forge & Lynch
London gallery Forge & Lynch, which specialises in antiquities, Islamic and Indian art, offers this Attic black-figure amphora from c.510BC, measuring 16in (40cm) high. It’s included in the show Forge & Lynch will host titled Classical Antiquities from the van Roozendaal Collections.
The Old Master gallery has recently discovered this 17th century mythological painting Hercules Freeing Prometheus. The oil on canvas was painted by Hendrick Munniks and sheds new light on the impact of Caraggio’s style in the northern Netherlands. Munniks travelled briefly in Rome and was a successful painter in Utrecht, but the discovery of this painting sheds new light on his early works.
This white marble frieze of a Saracen’s head in profile was made c.1500. It may refer to a heraldic device of the Florentine Pucci family. However it may also be a real or imaginary portrait, which may make the piece northern Italian. In Venice, black men were common as sailors and merchants, meaning that it may depict a once well-known figure. It is brought to London Art Week by newcomer Gallery Desmet of Brussels.
Galerie Lowet de Wotrenge
Another Belgian gallery joining London Art Week is Galerie Lowet de Wotrenge, a specialist in Old Master paintings, works on paper and sculptures. It brings this Italinate townscape by Jacob van der Ulft, a 17th century drawing in pen and brown ink.
Also linked to Venice is this portrait of a Venetian gentleman by Peter Paul Rubens. It has an estimate in the region of £3m and is included in Sotheby’s Old Masters sale on July 4. The painting is believed to have been kept by Rubens until his death.
Bagshawe Fine Art
This portrait of Parisian couturier Jacques Fath was completed by Russian painter Serge Ivanoff (1893-1983). Ivanoff moved to Paris with his wife and children in 1922 and established himself as a portraitist to celebrities and leading society figures. Fath was an influential post-war fashion designer who counted Rita Hayworth and Greta Garbo among his clients. He designed costumes for The Red Shoes and other films. This oil on canvas measures 4ft 3in x 2ft 11in (1.3m x 89cm).
Ben Elwes Fine Art
English artist Henry Hoppner Meyer (1780-1847) exhibited The Young Catechist at the Society of British Artists in 1827 alongside a poem by Charles Lamb which begins: While this tawny Ethiop prayeth/Painter, who is she that stayeth/By, with skin of whitest lustre,/Sunny locks, a shining cluster,/Saint-like seeming to direct him/To the Power that must protect him? The oil on canvas measures 3ft x 2ft 4in (91 x 71cm) and is offered by Old Master and British paintings specialist Ben Elwes Fine Art.