A comprehensive collection of works of art, illustrating the best of cross-cultural encounters between Europe, Africa, India, China and Japan, has been chosen purposely for the TEFAF fair by Jorge Welsh Works of Art.
Fine and rare pieces ranging from the 15th to the early 19th century will be displayed at stand 210: ivories from India and Sri Lanka, Japanese works of art including namban coffers, cabinets and fine examples of Chinese export porcelain and works of art, including a rare Chinese three-fold screen with Portuguese inscriptions. “Each piece has been carefully selected on purpose to be exhibited at TEFAF, because this is one of the leading art fairs in the world”, explains Jorge Welsh.
One of the highlights of the stand is a rare Eight-Tiered Chinese export porcelain Pagoda. As early as the 17th century, the Chinese pagoda became a global symbol for the Western imagination of the East. European and American travellers, captains, supercargoes, among others, were fascinated by these ‘exotic’ and almost ‘mystical’ constructions, and began to describe and draw these delicate and complex structures in their travelling books. Models of pagodas are found in a variety of materials and were particularly favoured by European royalty. Between 1806-1816, King George IV bought six porcelain pagodas for the Brighton Pavilion, at great expense. The four pagoda models of the Brighton Pavillion are now in the Royal Collection Trust. A comparable six-storey, hexagonal blue and white porcelain pagoda is in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. A large model of a pagoda, decorated in underglaze blue and overglazed polychrome enamels, is in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Similar blue and white pagodas, with sides painted to imitate brick walls, are in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, and the Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, Delaware.
Another rare and intriguing piece is a Chinese three-fold screen (199 cm tall by 186 cm wide), dating to the Qianlong period (1736-1795), made for the Portuguese market. On one side, each of the three panels is decorated with two cartouches, one depicting several animals among flowers and leaves, a perforated rock and a pond; the other is surmounted by a crown flanked by two cherubs, and encloses a Chinese recreational scene, identified by the Portuguese inscriptions “Comédia”, “O Imperador assistindo aq.m ganha as Carreyras” and “Dous Mandarins de recreação Acassa”. On the other side, each panel is painted with a Chinese life-size human figure. The present piece combines the typical Chinese decoration, namely on the lower cartouches on one side and the life-size human figures on the other, while the upper cartouches are painted with uncommon Chinese scenes intentionally made for the export market. The scenes are painted with oil on the canvas, a technique that was only introduced in China during the 16th century by the Jesuits. Chinese screens showing Portuguese inscriptions are extremely rare. Two comparable six-panel screens made in Macau in circa 1708, gilded and painted with the portrait of the Kings of Portugal (1st dynasty) together with the restoration wars identified, once again, by the Portuguese inscriptions, belong to the Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga in Lisbon.
TEFAF will open its doors to the public on the 11th of March and close on Sunday the 20th of March.
Maastricht Exhibition & Congress Centre (MECC)
6229 GV Maastricht, Netherlands
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