Delacroix’s Lion Devouring a Goat was owned first by Gustave Arosa and then his brother, Achille, successful business men and financiers in the latter half of the 19th century who each built up notable art collections. Gustave was the guardian of Paul Gauguin and perhaps the lover of his mother; he helped Gauguin financially, while introducing him to a wide social circle.

Stair Sainty Gallery is returning to Masterpiece London 2018 this summer!  Masterpiece is the premier art and antiques fair in the UK and we are delighted to be exhibiting.  Located in the beautiful and historic grounds of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, Masterpiece promises an array of outstanding galleries showing exceptional artwork from antiquity to the present day.  The fair runs from 28 June - 4 July, preview 27 June, visit their website for further details or contact us at the gallery. We will be announcing a number of the important and diverse paintings we will be exhibiting at the fair over the next few weeks, so watch this space...

Marianne Loir, Alexandrine Guerin de Tencin and Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil (Marquise de Chatelet) were three women with a common link, whose achievements in male-dominated eighteenth century France are particularly notable. Marianne Loir, whose portrait of the elegant Monsieur de Fontaine is on exhibition on Stair Sainty’s stand at The European Fine Art Fair, Maastricht, was the only French woman artist to achieve some renown during her lifetime, two generations before Vigée Lebrun. Her portrait of the Marquise de Chatelet (Bordeaux, Musée de Beaux-Arts), presents the brilliant mathematician, author, and natural philosopher seated at her desk and holding mathematical dividers as a symbol of her scientific genius.

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 Bourbon restoration in 1814 and 1815 represented an existential crisis for the French – it heralded a period during which France was at peace (aside from a small diversion in Spain in 1823) but followed a time when even some of the most loyal adherents of the ancien regime had come to reluctantly admire Napoleon’s extraordinary military triumphs. France’s gradual decline in the face of an increasing powerful Great Britain during the eighteenth century had been briefly followed by a twenty-year period when France and its parvenu ruler dominated the European continent. Now her economy was in ruins and the country was only saved from total humiliation by the adept diplomacy of Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand, the aristocratic former Bishop, Foreign Minister to Napoleon, and architect of the restoration.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="515"]Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord (1754–1838), Prince de Bénévent Baron Gerard, Charles Maurice Prince de Talleyrand in his Study, painted in 1808 (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Wrightsman Gift).[/caption]