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Masterpiece 2018

Wed Jun 27, 2018

This week The Royal Hospital Chelsea opens its doors to Masterpiece 2018 where we will be exhibiting over 40 of the most significant works of art from our current collection. Philip Mould & Company welcome you to join us for what promises to be a truly spectacular event over a period of seven days from Thursday 28th June until Wednesday 4th July.

This year we are bringing an eclectic array of paintings and portrait miniatures that together demonstrate the commanding variety of style, technique and subject-matter explored throughout the history of British Art from 1500 onwards. Among our selection this year are some particularly exciting pieces including a lost head study by Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599-1641) and an extremely rare portrait miniature by the artist Charles Smith (1749-1824).

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Sir Anthony Van Dyck Head Study for the Betrayal of Christ


One of the most fascinating discoveries that we shall be exhibiting on stand A3 is a lost character study painted by Van Dyck in c. 1620-21 in preparation for one of his most important early compositions The Betrayal of Christ. The head study, exhibited for the first time since its discovery beneath layers of early-18th century overpaint and canvas extensions, offers a remarkable insight into Van Dyck’s brilliance of invention and sheer painterly command when preparing for larger narrative commissions.

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Charles Smith (1749-1824) An Indian official, seated, wearing fabric turban, 1806

This portrait miniature would appear to be the only extant example in miniature by the Scottish artist Charles Smith, whose painting career ran, geographically at least, closely alongside that of Johann Zoffany (1733-1810). Portrait miniatures were popular in India, not deteriorating in the climate like oil paintings. Their size also chimed comfortably with the Indian tradition of miniature painting. The miniature is a fine example of the detail and precision required to work on such a minute scale. It will be available to view on our stand throughout the fair.

The Masterpiece Short Film Series

To showcase some of our highlights this year we will be releasing a series of 14 short films that explore in greater depth the contexts and significance behind a selection of our most exciting pieces. The films can be found on our Facebook, Instagram and Youtube pages...

Events throughout the Fair

Stand talks:

Friday 29th June 12:00 – Stand A3

‘Little Britain no longer! Opportunities and excitements in the growing market for modern British painting 1900-1950’

Saturday 30th June 13:00 – Stand A3

‘Beauty through the ages’

Sunday 1st July 12:00 – Stand A3

‘Discovering Cedric Morris: Journeys through the life and art of Britain’s most celebrated Artist Plantsman’

Guest Lecture Series: Masterpiece Lecture Theatre

Philip Mould in conversation with Jonathan Yeo

19:00 – Lecture Theatre Tickets required