Returning after a three-year gap, the Biennale Internazionale dell’Antiquariato di Firenze (BIAF) stages its 32nd edition in Florence from September 24-October 2 (with preview days on September 22-23).
The fair takes place in its usual venue, the elegant 17th century Palazzo Corsini overlooking the river Arno.
There are around 75 exhibitors, the majority from Italy, joined by others from the UK, the US, France and Switzerland. On show will be paintings ranging from Old Masters to modern works, sculpture and works of art, furniture, ceramics and decorative objects.
Pictured here is a taste of what the visitor can expect to see at the fair.
Further information can be found on the website.
Brother and sister
Brun Fine Art, which is based in London and Milan, will be showing a pair of gilt bronze-handled porcelain vases from Naples at the BIAF (pictured top). They are decorated with portraits of Clement of Saxony and his sister Maria Josefa Amalia, which are signed Giovine 1822. The vases are priced at €110,000.
The Laocoon Gallery, from London and Rome, will be showing this painting by Achille Funi (1890-1972) at the BIAF. Titled Venere Latina, and painted in the neoclassical style for which the artist was known, the (5ft 3in x 4ft 1in) 1.6 x 1.25m oil on canvas of 1930, which was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in that year, is priced at €100,000.
Piva & Co from Milan is taking this large marble relief panel of a mother and child by the Italian, Ferrarese sculptor Arrigo Minerbi (1881-1960) to the BIAF. The 4ft 9in x 2ft 3in x 12in (1.45m x 70cm x 30cm) panel, which is titled, signed and dated Mammina, Arrigo Minerbi 1936, has a provenance to the Ucelli family, Milan and is priced at €80,000.
A painting by Antonio Canova (1757-1822) with an interesting background story will be the centrepiece on the BIAF stand of Antonacci Lapiccirella from Rome.
This 2ft 4in x 2ft 1in (72 x 64cm) oil on panel, a so-called ‘self portrait of the artist Giorgione’, was commissioned from the sculptor Canova by his patron Prince Abbondio Rezzonico who was its first owner. Rezzonico himself was an accomplice to the joke behind this work, created by Canova and presented to the major artists and intellectuals in Rome at a banquet at the prince’s house as a self-portrait by the Italian Renaissance artist Giorgione.
Gorgione’s self-portrait was much talked about but known only through an engraving in Carlo Ridolfi’s Meraviglie dell’Arte published in 1648. Canova skilfully created his portrait using a 16th century panel on which a Holy Family was painted (which has since reemerged through infrared reflectography). All those present agreed that this was an authentic work by Giorgione. The joke was a great success and demonstrated that Canova was a skilled painter as well as a sculptor.
Canova’s painting, which is still in its original carved and gilded frame and is accompanied by a catalogue edited by Fernando Mazzocca published by the gallery, has a price between six and seven figures of around €1m.