Weiss Gallery at TEFAF 2013. Portrait of a an unknown noble woman, believed pregnant, by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641) can be found on the stand of the Weiss Gallery. Photo: Loraine Bodewes.
MAASTRICHT - The Old Master market has always evolved, but at the moment it is going through a period of more rapid change, as it often has over the course of the last half millennium. There have been signs recently that TEFAF (the T is for The, so “The TEFAF” is a solecism) or “Maastricht” as it is more usually known is changing too, with more dealers in Contemporary and Modern Art, and more dealers who exhibit diverse material—for example from a greater span of time and style. The inception of a section devoted to works on paper has hastened this change, because dealers in prints and drawings tend to be much more comfortable with ancient and very modern, and everything in between. The pace of change in the Old Master market has grown more rapid in the last year, with an influx of new buyers coinciding with a waning of activity by others, and I am particularly interested to see how The EFAF copes with this. Two years ago the Fair seemed to falter somewhat, and my sense was that it had rather lost its way in a changing world, but last year it bounced back with palpable vigour. There was a distinct air of greater confidence, and most of the leading dealers in Old Masters, as in other areas, reported strong sales. I think the Fair will need to change further this year to remain as consistently successful as it has for decades. I am confident that it will, but I am intrigued to see how.