Published: November 27, 2001
LONDON, ENGLAND – Jean-Luc Baroni has announced that, on January 1, after a period of 20 years with the firm, he will be leaving Colnaghi to establish a private dealership under his own name. Baroni entered into a joint venture with Colnaghi in 1982 to establish a new drawing department.
In 1996, a restructuring of Colnaghi was undertaken and, owing to the success of the drawings department, the firm’s board of directors asked Baroni to take over the paintings side of the business as well. A collaboration agreement for a period of five years was signed, and during this period Colnaghi’s enjoyed considerable and renewed success in the fields of both paintings and drawings.
Prominent sales during the past five years have included “The Scourging of Christ” by the Master of the Karisruhe Passion, arguably the most significant painting by a German Gothic master to have appeared on the market in recent decades, which was acquired by the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Karlsruhe.
Other significant sales of paintings have included an intimate portrait of “Sir Arthur Hopton” by Van Dyck, two superb views of Venice by Canaletto and a magnificent mythological painting by Francesco Albani. Later, works sold by the firm under Mr Baroni’s directorship include “La boule verte,” a rare avant-garde still-life by Roderic O’Connor, and the shimmering pointillist “Coastal Scene” by Theo van Rysselberghe, now in the National Gallery in London.
In the field of drawings, important newly discovered studies by Albrecht Altdorfer, Agnolo Bronzino, Gianlorenzo Bernini and Paul Gauguin have been acquired by museums such as the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and the National Galleries of Scotland in Edinburgh, as well as by private collectors.
Other important sales of Old Master and Nineteenth Century drawings have included major sheets by Rubens, Canaletto, Fragonard, Watteau, Ingres and Delacroix. Recent significant acquisitions of drawings have included Albert Cuyp’s finest landscape, a “View of Dordrecht from the Maas”; a superb “Head of a Youth” of circa 1496 by the early Renaissance artist Lorenzo di Credi; and the Castle Howard “Study of a Mourning Woman,” a recently rediscovered masterpiece by Michelangelo.
Following the end of their five-year collaboration agreement with Baroni, the owners of Colnaghi, the Oetker Group, have decided to end their involvement with the art market. Although Baroni was offered the opportunity to purchase the firm, after considerable reflection he came to the decision that a smaller, more streamlined operation would provide a more effective service to his clients, without incurring the extensive overheads that a large gallery like Colnaghi requires.
The entire senior staff of Colnaghi will be joining Jean-Luc Baroni in his new venture. Stephen Ongpin, who has worked closely with Baroni in the drawings department of Colnaghi for 15 years, and Donald Garstang, who has worked in the paintings department for 20 years, will be joining Baroni. Also leaving Colnaghi to work with Baroni are Paula Bundy, company accountant since 1986, and gallery administrator Judith Hacker.
The new firm, Jean-Luc Baroni Fine Art Ltd., will continue to deal in paintings and drawings dating from the Fifteenth to the early Twentieth Centuries. They will continue to mount annual exhibitions in both New York and London, as well as participate in selected international fairs.
In March, Jean-Luc Baroni Fine Art Ltd. will be exhibiting at both The European Fine Arts Fair at Maastricht and the Salon du Dessin in Paris.
Their next exhibition will be their annual “Master Drawings” show, which will take place as usual in New York in May and in London the following June and July. The exhibition will include the aforementioned drawings by Michelangelo and Lorenzo di Credi, as well as significant sheets by Parmigianino, Guercino, Boucher, Degas and Fernand Leger.
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