Dealer Simon Morsink.

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The gallery’s latest exhibition, Early Italian Art in Amsterdam is held jointly with Erik Bijzet Sculpture and Works of Art.

1 How did you get your start as a dealer?

My father Jan Morsink started the business in 1977. After studying art history and Slavonic languages at university, I took over the family business in 1994, together with my brother Hugo. In the same year we exhibited at TEFAF Maastricht for the first time, a flying start so to say. I was 27 years old and had my most successful fair ever.

2 What challenges are facing the trade in the coming months?

Let’s see if the clients will find their way back to the galleries and shops after the different lockdowns that we have had and still have. Online business has become very important for us during the past year and we believe that it will be equally important for us in the future too.

3 What is one great discovery you’ve made?

Some three years ago I discovered a small triptych with the Virgin, covered with darkened varnish and dirt at an auction in Paris. I was lucky enough to be the highest bidder at the sale. Back in Amsterdam I had it cleaned and was struck by the refinement of the painting and bright colour palette. After I had discussed it with several experts, the triptych was attributed to the famous Cretan painter Nikolaos Tzafouris (1447-1501) and was sold to one of my best private clients in Belgium. Every time that I visit his home I cannot but stop and admire it.

4 What is one item you couldn’t do without?

My toothbrush

5 Who do you admire in the art/ antiques world (in or outside the trade)?

I really admire all the art and antique dealers who are putting their heart and soul in their work. Older art and antiques are not so fashionable nowadays and the professionals in the trade really are the torch bearers of this world. Likewise the museums and collectors, of course, but never underestimate the importance of art dealers to keep things alive and going!

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