From a Portrait by a Teenage Picasso to Gentileschiâs âAllegory of Fame,â 5 Standout Works at TEFAF New York
The 67th Regiment Armory on the Upper East Side was buzzing on Friday afternoon as a crowd of VIPs descended to get a first glimpse of the current offerings on show at TEFAF New York. The works range widely—from antiquities, rare books, and maps to vintage jewels, Asian ceramics, and scrolls, and even modern American paintings. The fair, which originated in the Netherlands in Maastricht, now takes place twice a year in New York, in the spring and the fall, with the latter season weighted toward Old Masters and historic works.
The New York iteration may not be as celebrated as its Dutch sister, but this year the fall edition drew its share of VIPs. We spotted Mary Kate Olsen trying on some rare jewels at the booth of German dealer Otto Jakob with her husband, Olivier Sarkozy, in tow. (Her sister Ashley also made an appearance.) Meanwhile, collector Jo Carole Lauder, designer Nicole Miller, and former Sotheby’s CEO Bill Ruprecht were seen strolling the aisles at the opening night party to benefit Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Of course, the art’s the thing at TEFAF. And with so much material to take in, artnet News homed in on five striking works that are worth seeking out before the fair closes on Wednesday, October 31—see them below.
Portrait of a Bearded Man (1895) by Pablo Picasso
This small, early and intensely detailed portrait of a beggar—part of a portrait series that the then 13-year-old artist convinced various people to sit for—was executed in the city of A Coruña, during the spring of 1895. At the time, Picasso had been happily freed from his high school duties with the consent of his father. The signature on the upper left corner, “P. Ruiz, 1895” was before the artist started including the more famous surname Picasso, Jaime Eguiguren told artnet News. The inscription also reads: “Warm regards to father Modesto Castilla,” another of the artist’s portraiture subjects during his time in A Coruña.
Where: Jaime Eguiguren Arte y Antigüedades, Buenos Aires, ArgentinaAsking price: Approximately $2 million
Penitent Magdalene (1717) by Caterina de Julianis
Despite carrying a date of 1717, this glass box by 18th-century Naples painter Caterina de Julianis looks like it could be a contemporary work or at least a precursor of a Joseph Cornell. The glass-enclosed collage shows Magdalene with one hand clutching her chest and the other outstretched as she looks upward with a pleading gaze. Scattered around her are rocks and skulls, and it is believed that the artist painted the backdrop herself, Eugenio Costantini, director of the gallery, told artnet News. It was one of several of her works—including a collage that is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert museum—that the artist made, perhaps as a traditional memento mori, though the aesthetic clearly looks to be ahead of its time. Presumably, the buyer, who snapped it up within a mere hour of the opening and is known to hew more toward modern art, according to Constantini, agreed. The piece already sported a red “sold” dot within an hour or so of the opening.
Where: Galleria Carlo Virgilio & C., Rome and LondonSale price: Not available
Bust of a Moor (1887) by Davide Calandra
The patinated terra cotta Bust of a Moor, which was exhibited at a show of Italian art in Olympia, London, in 1888, reflects the mashup of styles that prevailed at the time, blending unlikely chain link on the moor’s helmet with Middle Eastern and Namibian clothing and styles. Other famous public works by Calandra—a sculptor from Turin who also made coins—include a monument to Garibaldi in Parma, another to Prince Amedeo of Savoy in Turin, and one to that pays tribute to General Bartolomé Mitre (made with sculptor Eduardo Rubino), in Buenos Aires.
Where: Benappi Fine Art, London, and Turin/Kunsthandel Mehringer, MunichAsking price: $80,000
Portrait of Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico (1758) by Anton Raphael Mengs
On the second floor of the Park Avenue Armory, Benappi/Mehringer showed a 1758 portrait of Cardinal Carlo Rezzonico, the nephew of the powerful Pope Clement XIII, by the nomadic German Neoclassical painter Anton Raphael Mengs. The influential artist worked as a portraitist at the court of Saxony in Dresden, the Spanish court in Madrid, and at the Vatican in Rome. Known for his attention to detail and use of luminous and vibrant colors, he was considered one of the finest painters in Europe during his lifetime.
Where: Benappi Fine Art, London, and Turin/Kunsthandel Mehringer, MunichAsking price: Undisclosed
Allegory of Fame (ca. 1620) by Artemisia Gentileschi
In this work, Gentileschi depicts the allegory of fame, instantly recognizable by the trumpet in her hand and the laurel wreath on her head. According to dealer Benedict Tomlinson of Robilant & Voena, the 17th-century painter, one of the very few female artists of her generation, is “having quite a moment right now.” Earlier this week, the painter’s depiction of Lucretia exceeded expectations to fetch $2.1 million at Dorotheum’s Old Masters sale, just shy of her auction record. This smaller example of her work is available at TEFAF for a fraction of that price.
Where: Robilant & Voena, London, Milan and St. MoritzAsking price: Approximately $200,000
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