Research Essays

The beginning of December sees a flurry of activity in London's galleries and sale rooms in the form of Old Master Sales Week.  It is an opportunity for the Art World to focus on fine art by established artists from the past whose works have stood the test of time and whose legacies are clear for all to see.  Stair Sainty are delighted to be showing paintings at our gallery, 38 Dover Street, by Old Masters including Boucher, Subleyras, Oudry, Goya and Loir, as well as 19th century artists such as Delacroix, Degas, Manet and Levy-Dhurmer.   Come and visit out gallery weekdays from 10am to 6pm....

To commemorate the centenary of the death of Edgar Degas, Degas: A Passion for Perfection - an exhibition of sculptures, paintings and drawings by the artist, has opened at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. Among the many masterpieces in this exhibition, one of the most popular will be the Hébrard posthumous bronze sculpture of Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen, lent by the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich.

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has recently presented a splendid exhibition of paintings illustrating the American passion for Eighteenth Century French art, which shaped several major collections in the first decades of the Twentieth Century. Thanks to a renewed interest by collectors and museums in this same period in the 1970s and 1980s a number of major works, as well as paintings by less well-known artists who nonetheless held the post of First Painter of the King, were acquired from the Stair Sainty Gallery. A selection of these are illustrated here.   

An extraordinary and controversial exhibition, Mystical Symbolism, has just opened at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, showing a range of paintings predominately by French artists such as Marcel-Béronneau, Alexandre Séon and Alphonse Osbert, but also Swiss (Ferdinand Hodler) and Belgian (Fernand Khnopff). The exhibition was given a long and erudite review in The New Yorker but with no recent US museum exhibitions dedicated to symbolism, this movement has not been as readily understood in journals whose staff have a narrow perspective of art made before the First World War.

In conjunction with Stair Sainty Gallery's upcoming exhibition, Degas: Little Dancer Rediscovered, Dr Gregory Hedberg; the author of the new book Degas' Little Dancer, Aged Fourteen - The earlier version that helped spark the birth of modern art, will be giving a lecture on Thursday 4th May, 6pm at the Lansdowne Club, Mayfair. Dr. Hedberg’s lecture explores the various problematic findings regarding the physical state of Degas’ Little Dancer wax sculpture today and how the recently discovered plaster helps to explain these puzzles.  The influence of Degas’ Little Dancer in 1881 on Whistler, Manet, Sargent and Seurat will also be explored. To see a video of Dr Hedberg's lecture, please click here.  ...

The most direct evidence of the appearance of this iconic sculpture was a drawing, one of three on a single sheet, in which the young Marie van Goethem is presented from several different angles, including a full frontal image which shows her standing, facing forward with her weight evenly distributed on each leg. Her bodice has a low cut décolletage, and extends down to her navel, with her head only slightly tilted upwards. The other two drawings on the sheet show her from behind at slightly different angles, her arms stretched straight behind with her hands clasped lightly together. In one of the two her hair is partly plaited.

Stair Sainty is delighted to announce we will exhibiting a bronze of Edgar Degas’s iconic sculpture, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, which records the sculpture’s pose as it appeared at the 1881 Impressionist Exhibition. This follows the recent publication of a monograph on the work by art historian Dr. Gregory Hedberg, in which he demonstrates that the bronzes known to museum visitors around the world, from the Tate, London, to the Metropolitan Museum, New York to the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, actually represent Degas’s reworking of the original sculpture.

Happy New Year, we hope you had a peaceful Christmas. 2017 promises to be an exciting year for Stair Sainty Gallery and we are already working on fairs and exhibitions for the coming months. Our first event will be TEFAF Maastricht in March, this fair is arguably the worlds most prestigious gathering of art and antiques dealers and we look forward to bringing you more news of our stand in the coming weeks. For any further information about Stair Sainty and our upcoming events, please contact the gallery. ...

Portraitist of the great figures of the avant-garde art world of his time, master of the still lifes and, finally, a symbolist entranced by Wagnerian legends and mystical fantasy, Fantin-Latour cannot be placed in any particular category. He was certainly not constrained by the disciplines of academicism but, although a friend of and even exhibiting with the impressionists, his exquisite paintings of flowers and fruit reflect a much older artistic tradition. Now a new exhibition of his work (Fantin-Latour, à Fleur du Peau) has been staged at the Musée du Luxembourg (closing on 12 February 2017), which not only includes all aspects of his painted oeuvre but a series of photographs.

We salute the French people for their bravery during a time of great tragedy and loss, as well as the Société Nationale des Antiquaires for their decision to remain steadfast in celebrating France’s ongoing commitment to the arts. We hope that France will remain a beacon of light and enlightenment to inspire artists and visitors alike. ‘As an artist, a man has no home in Europe save in Paris’.  ‘ F. Nietzsche This year we dedicate our stand to the great city of Paris with artists who received their training in the city or had their first early success there. These include masters such as Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Jean-Baptiste Greuze and Élisabeth-Louise Vigée Le Brun, Baron Gérard and Élie Delaunay, as well as Jacques Émile Blanche, who documented Parisian intellectual life at the turn of the 20th century. The centre of our stand recalls the Belle Epoque fascination with Salomé, who inspired playwright Oscar Wilde and composer Richard Strauss as well as many artists who in turn looked to Wilde’s interpretation of the Biblical story. We shall be exhibiting four Salomé paintings by the French symbolist painter Pierre-Amédée Marcel-Béronneau, as well as the dramatic Salomé painted during the closing months of the First World War by Cuban born Spanish artist, Federico Beltran Masses.    Elizabeth & Guy Sainty La Biennale Pairs is open from the 10th – 18th of September at the Grand Palais, Paris....