February 24, 2017

At TEFAF Maastricht, the world’s greatest art and antiques fair, you can buy masterpieces of art, antiques and design from 275 of the world's most prestigious dealers. Following a successful 2015, The Weiss Gallery - leading dealer in Tudor, Stuart and North European Old Master portraiture - returns to TEFAF in Maastricht (10 - 19 March 2017) with several new exciting discoveries, including works by Frans Pourbus the Younger, Paulus Moreelse, and Michaelina Wautier.


The remarkable, indeed unique, portrayal of the Italian Jesuit missionary Martino Martini, who settled in 1643 in the Chinese city of Hangzhou in Zhejiang Province, is one of our highlights. It was painted in 1654 by the exceptional female artist, Flemish-born Michaelina Wautier, when Martini was passing through the Archducal court at Brussels. He was en route from China to Rome where he would arrive in the spring of 1655 to present on behalf of the Chinese Mission Superior. Pivotally, Wautier painted Martini in Manchu costume, and inscribed his name on the portrait in Chinese characters. This was an important symbolic reference to Martini’s support of an ‘inculturated’ approach to Christian indoctrination in Jesuit missionary practice.


Michaelina Wautier was exceptional as a female artist, turning her hand to all genres, excelling at portrait, history, still life, and everyday scenes. Her paintings display a power of observation that is reminiscent of the great Baroque painters of her day, certainly on a par with if not even more astonishing than her Italian counterpart, Artemisia Gentileschi. Wautier’s oeuvre today consists of around twenty-nine paintings including the present, newly ascribed portrait, and one drawing. This portrait is unique as a study of an older, Jesuit missionary, with the added allure of its unusual Oriental connection.


The painting has been requested for a forthcoming exhibition on the artist to be held at the Rubenshuis, Antwerp in the summer of 2018, curated by Katlijne van der Stighelen.


Come and view this and other highlights at our stand (no.350) at TEFAF Maastricht.