Our Top 10 Finds at the European Fine Art Fair


TEFAF, the European Fine Art Fair that takes place every spring in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht, touts itself as “the world’s leading art and antiques fair.” In spite of the hype, there is glory coincident to the fair’s claims. This year, 260 exhibitors from 16 countries are offering fine antiques, rare books and manuscripts, maps, jewelry, Old Master paintings and sculptures, modern and contemporary art, photography, exceptional crafts, and design objects. Works on view range from Oceanic fetish figures carved in wood to decorative brooches made from hundreds of diamonds and museum-quality paintings that sell for millions.

Our top ten picks from the fair, which runs through the weekend, include one of Edvard Munch’s rare lithographic prints of a seductive Madonna; a sleek, bronze statue of pacing lion from the 1600s; Rembrandt’s masterful portrait of a pirate, which has a $47 asking price; a pair of Napoleonic folding chairs that look completely contemporary; a Helmut Newton photo of an androgynous fashion model sharing a smoke with a nude on a darkened Paris street; and a silhouetted portrait of artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster defined by a heap of cast hands and penises. Click through the images below to view our fair favorites.

Edvard Munch, Madonna, Lithograph on paper, 60 X 44.1 CM, 1890s. Courtesy David Tunick, Inc.

Barthélemy Prieur, Pacing Lion, c.1600. Bronze with rich brown patina, 11 x 20.5 x 6.5 cm / 4 ¼ x 8 x 2 ½ inches, Courtesy Galerie J.Kugel

Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Yellow Phantasmagoria, 2009. Mixed media, yellow silicone, rubber, steel, wood, light projector, 31 x 37.7 x 129.5 cm. Courtesy Blain|Southern

Helmut Newton, Rue Aubroit, Fashion Model & Nude, 1975, © Helmut Newton Foundation, Courtesy of Hamiltons Gallery

Aristide Maillol, Torso of Action in Chains, 1905. Bronze, Height 122 cm, Courtesy French & Company, LLC

Gianmaria Buccellati, Aster brooch, 186 round brilliant-cut diamonds cts. 5,44, 167 rose-cut diamonds cts. 2,89, 1 faceted tourmaline cts. 64,18, Courtesy Gianmaria Buccellati

Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, Portrait of a man with arms akimbo, 1658. Oil on canvas , 42.25 x 34.25 in. (107.4 x 87 cm), Courtesy Otto Naumann Ltd.

Anonymous, Polished steel armchair, early 19th century. Polished steel, gilt copper and leather. 38 ½ inches high (98 cm) x 21 ¾ inches wide (55.5 cm.) x 30 inches deep (76 cm). Courtesy Galerie Perrin

Anonymous, Pair of Chinese porcelain ‘famille-rose’ vases and covers. Qing dynasty. Qing dynasty, Yongzheng period, circa 1730. Courtesy Gibson Antiques Ltd Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art

Anonymous, Canoe Prow, Wood with black pigment, putty-nut (parinarium paste), and shell. Overall patina of wear and usage, 30.5 cm, Solomon Islands, Melanesia. 19th/20th century, Courtesy Galerie Meyer – Oceanic Art