Created by the merger of two historic galleries that have been on the market for several generations, the Galleria Francesca Antonacci Damiano Lapiccirella Fine Art
, with its prestigious headquarters in a fascinating courtyard in the centre of Rome, is a landmark for enthusiasts of "Grand Tour" paintings as well as drawings and sculptures by European artists from the late eighteenth century and the middle of the nineteenth. It is also a site for true museum-profile exhibitions. The gallery participates in the most prestigious antique shows: TEFAF Maastricht, the Paris Salon du Dessin, the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris, the International Antiques Biennale of Palazzo Corsini in Florence and the International Exhibition of Palazzo Venezia in Rome.
Tireless research, absolute expertise, meticulous documentation, boundless qualitative ambition, international vision and inexhaustible passion are the identikit for which Francesca Antonacci and Damiano Lapiccirella are well known at the highest levels in the art world. With these features, and a series of highly interesting proposals, once again the Galleria takes part in the 2017 edition of TEFAF Maastricht, submitting its proposals in the most exclusive area of the event: painting.
With three annual editions in two continents, TEFAF is considered the world's most important trade fair for art, antiques and design. TEFAF offers international merchants the best platform to showcase museum-quality works to a select audience of collectors and enthusiasts. The 2016 edition of TEFAF Maastricht saw the participation of 275 leading international galleries with 75 thousand visitors from 60 countries.
Ippolito CAFFI (Belluno 1809 - Lissa 1866), The Canal Grande in Venice seen from the Ponte dell'Accademia, with Santa Maria della Salute. Oil on canvas: 47 x 60,9 cm. Signed CAFFI in the lower right-hand corner
In this sublimely illuminated magical view, the imposing dome of the church of Santa Maria della Salute in Venice emerges from a purple haze dissolving into the morning sun. Daylight diffuses in the midst of rooftops, revealing a glimpse of blue sky and illuminating the green expanse of the Grand Canal. Quietness and tranquillity pervade the scene, depicted with the expert use of typical Caffi colour and light at its peak
One of the greatest Italian landscape painters of the first half of the nineteenth century, Ippolito Caffi was born in Belluno, and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice. He travelled throughout Italy and in Greece, Syria, Turkey, and Egypt. His landscapes are permeated with a sense of romantic admiration and wonder.
A poetic example of his talent, this painting demonstrates the capacity of Caffi to transmute changing effects of the atmosphere into painting through his clever use of light and colour, along with the meticulous attention he devotes to architecture, which make him the artistic heir of Canaletto.
JOHANN JAKOB FREY (Basle 1813 - Rome 1865), Nine oil paintings on paper applied to canvas portraying seashores and the Roman countryside.
Johann Jakob Frey, born in Basel, is a painter known in artistic chronicles for his precious eye-catching views and landscapes of Rome and the countryside of central and southern Italy, as well as Egypt and, to a lesser extent, Greece. But the recent discovery of nine of his oil landscape studies on paper adds a valuable element to his art, the history of collecting and European landscape depiction. These intriguing small paintings are in fact intended as instinctive impulsive expressions of the moment, intimate movements of the soul and, as such, not destined to be sold; rather they should be considered as "private" events, so to speak, personal episodes expressed in moments of rapt inspiration: works of such value as to be compared with the highly significant artworks present in the collections of the National Gallery in Washington.
Finally it seems appropriate to recall that this category of paintings by Johann Jakob Frey is extremely rare on the international antiquarian market to the point that over the past two decades very few are remembered and, in any case, never in such large nuclei as in our case.
Federico BELTRÁN MASSÉS (Guaira de la Melena, Cuba 1885 Barcellona 1949), Lady Michelham, 1920. Oil on canvas, cm 145 x 160. Signed F. Beltran Masses in the lower left-hand corner. Provenance: Property of the artist successively passed onto his heirs. Spain, private collection.
Federico Armando Beltrán Masses was born in Cuba in 1885. In 1905 he sojourned in Madrid, where his first personal exhibition was held in 1909. In 1916 he moved to Paris to direct the National Society of Fine Arts. In 1920 he took part in the Biennale in Venice, with 22 works exhibited in an entire room dedicated to him. He died in Barcelona in 1949 at the age of 64. The painting of Beltrán Masses is located in an initial symbolism that glides, in his most mature production, towards an Art Deco style. Beltrán Masses preferred portraits, which allowed him to achieve success. Among the numerous celebrities he depicted are: kings Alfonso XIII of Spain, George VI of England and Umberto II of Italy, the Shah of Persia, Marchesa Luisa Casati, the Rothschild millionaires and Peugeot, Hollywood icons Rudolph Valentino, Pola Negri , Joan Crawford, Douglas Fairbanks and Gloria Swanson.
The charming woman portrayed in the painting is Aimée Geraldine Bradshaw, Baroness Lady Michelham after her marriage to banker Herbert Stern, First Lord Michelham of Hellingly. Lady Michelham is immortalized sitting on a gondola in a black dress and with a red mask in her hand, a mysterious and sensual element. The realistic description involves not only her character, but also the environment: we catch a glimpse of the Palazzo Ducale in the background behind two gondolas on the canal,. Although undated, the Lady Michelham canvas was probably painted between 1920 and 1923. The work was exhibited for the first time at the Wildenstein Galleries in New York in 1924.