Masterpiece London 2014 – surely there is hardly a more appropriate or fitting start to the summer season in London. Held in 2014 for its fifth year, Masterpiece London returns to the Royal Hospital Chelsea grounds in its palatial temporary home to the delight of collectors from around the world. There are over 150 international exhibitors taking part this year all with their own specialities spanning 3000 years of art and design.
Masterpiece’s promise of delivering “museum-quality art” is certainly met with highlights of the Masterpiece 2014 including a Monet (already sold for £3.2 million) and a L S Lowry painting, in his best known genre of industrial age Manchester, also available for a similar price. There is plenty aside from paintings for visitors to see and buy, with glittering diamonds and precious jewellery from Wartski and BOGH-ART to a beautiful stand of watches from Jaeger-LeCoultre – with their craftsmen demonstrating their ability live in front of the fair.
Stands varied hugely from single piece displays, “The Masterpiece” by Tim Noble and Sue Webster exhibited by Blain Southern – a piece using light to create a silhouette of double portraits from a seemingly incomprehensible mass of metal – to the museum-like aura of Philip Mould & Company‘s space exhibiting portraits by artists including Franz Xaver Winterhalter and Sir Peter Lely.
Royal Patron of Masterpiece London 2014, HRH Princess Alexandra, writes in her Patron’s Letter that the fair is important in “upholding a great historical tradition of trade in fine and decorative arts in the British capital”, and the sentiment is surely shared by every participant of the fair. Although Masterpiece London may only be 5 years old in 2014, this great fair is part of the much longer tradition of art trade in the City and is important in furthering the appeal throughout the world of London as the centre of the art market.
Heritage and innovation, tradition and development – we look forward to the year ahead and Masterpiece 2015.