The Cesare Maccari Collection of Chinese Watercolours:
Lessons in 19th century Natural History at LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair, 24th – 28th September 2014
The Cesare Maccari Collection of Chinese Watercolours will be on sale for the first time from Crispian Riley-Smith Fine Arts Ltd at the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair, 24th – 28th September 2014. First collected by leading Italian Orientalist artist, Cesare Maccari (1840-1919), the 44 works remain in superb condition and will be available individually or en-bloc as a collection.
The 19th century watercolours, exquisitely drawn on handmade Chinese paper by local artists, feature Chinese subjects, including: flowers and fruits, characters, butterflies and insects, as well as fish and birds. It is likely that they were commissioned by an officer in the British East India Company and intended for the European export market fascinated by the study of natural history and biology.
The collection reflects the enthusiasm in 19th century Europe for recording new species from foreign territories. This practice stimulated the development in evolutionary biology, which culminated in the publication of Charles Darwin’s ‘On Origin of Species’ in 1859.
Cesare Maccari was fascinated by Eastern cultures. As well as being a painter of oriental subjects, he was a collector of oriental rugs, objects, paintings, prints and drawings from the East. Shortly after his death, a six day auction of his works and collection of art objects was held, in April 1921, at his studio in Piazza Sallustio in Rome. It is believed that during this auction the Bargagli family of Florence purchased the collection. In the late 1990s, the Studio Bibliografico Vecchi Libri in Florence purchased the collection of the 44 works, before it was sold to an Italian collector. This collection will now be on offer at the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair 2014.
Above: 19th century Chinese watercolours from The Cesare Maccari Collection, Chinese School, watercolour and gouache and Cesare Maccari in his studio in Rome, circa 1900
Notes to Editors:
Event:LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair 2014
Dates:Wednesday 24th September – Sunday 28th September 2014
Location:Berkeley Square, Mayfair, London, W1J 6EB
Opening Hours:Collectors’ Preview: Tuesday 23rd September 2014: 11am – 9pm*
Wednesday 24th September 2014: 11am – 5.30pm
Thursday 25th September 2014: 11am – 9pm
Friday 26th September 2014: 11am – 7pm
Saturday 27th September 2014: 11am – 7pm
Sunday 28th September 2014: 11am – 5pm
Underground:Green Park - Jubilee, Victoria & Piccadilly lines, Bond Street - Central & Jubilee lines
Major bus routes:via Piccadilly, Regent Street and Oxford Street
Cesare Maccari (Siena 1840 – Rome 1919)
Cesare Maccari was among the leading 19th century painters of Italian Orientalism, along with artists Alberto Pasini, Roberto Guastalla and Giuseppe Gabani. Fascinated by Eastern cultures, he painted oriental subjects and collected rugs, objects, paintings, prints and drawings from the East. His most important works remain in Rome. They include the public commissions for Palazzo Madama, the seat of the Italian Senate, and the Palace of Justice, which he decorated with frescoed scenes of the history of ancient Rome.
Crispian Riley-Smith will exhibit at the LAPADA Art & Antiques Fair for the first time in September 2014. Crispian has been working in the art market since 1989, as a specialist at Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips, and since 1998 as a dealer, principally selling Fine Master Drawings from the 16th to early 20th centuries. While the main part of his business includes dealing, valuations and acting as an agent, Crispian also writes articles in publications, lectures and conducts historical art tours of country houses.