Small Town, Big Show
In March, the place to be for anyone seriously connected to the art world is a small, remote medieval town at the crossroads of the Netherlands, France, and Belgium. Maastricht—better known to the world at large as the site of the signing of the 1992 Treaty of European Union—is the home of the European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF). Annually, hundreds of private jets fly into the airports in Maastricht, the Netherlands, and nearby Liège, Belgium, and Düsseldorf, Germany, ferrying collectors to the event, which takes place this year from March 10 to 19.
TEFAF (tefaf.com) has a rarefied atmosphere, with each of its 270 booths resembling a small museum. Many of the world’s top dealers are present, with works ranging from antiquities to 20th century design and contemporary art.
Among the offerings this year will be André Derain’s Le Port de Collioure, painted in his Fauvism period in 1905 in the Mediterranean town where he was visiting Henri Matisse. Presented by Stoppenbach & Delestre, this colorful, light-filled work hasn’t been on the market for 50 years.
Connaught Brown will be showing Raoul Dufy’s 1923 oil painting La Fenêtre, which depicts a view of the beach and water from his window in the seaside resort of Sainte-Adresse.
An elaborate silver-gilt ewer made in London in 1831 and decorated with sea creatures and mermaids, being sold by Koopman Rare Art, is a piece fit for a king. Until 1952, it actually belonged to one: King Farouk I of Egypt and the Sudan.