This July we traveled to the Principality of Monaco to participate as the official media partner in the fourth and latest edition of Monaco Art Week under the High Patronage of H.S.H. Prince Albert II. The trip guided our team on a trail of exhibitions spread across three of the Principality’s neighborhoods. As we venture through the Monegasque cultural landscape, we would like to take a moment to recap and highlight some of the best moments of Monaco Art Week 2022.
Christie’s & Sotheby’s
If you are at all familiar with the world of fine art, the presence of these prestigious auction houses should assure attendees that the event will undoubtedly deliver magnificent exhibitions. This year, Christie’s brought a mix of Haute joaillerie and illustrative scenic design to the MAW exhibition. Works included a 20.42 carat emerald-cut diamond ring by Boucheron and Raoul Dufy’s 1927 oil painting “La terrasse à Vallauris”.
Additionally, for its exhibition at Monaco Art Week, Sotheby’s offered a lively collection of Claude and François-Xavier Lalanne’s nature-based body of work. The couple originally drew inspiration from flora and fauna to create whimsical yet aesthetically practical sculptures. Although many of their works are publicly displayed throughout the city of Monaco, Sotheby’s introduced a further 17 pieces from their prolific collection. To complement these works, the long-established auction house offered a curated display of jewels, bags, and watches for immediate purchase.
Moretti Fine Art
Originally established in 1999 in Florence by Fabrizio Moretti with a specialization in Italian “Old Master” paintings, Moretti’s gallery currently operates in London and offers a point of reference for collectors who seek a discreet and confidential approach to purchasing Italian fine art. This year at MAW, we were particularly captivated by the group’s exhibition of Italian artist Santo Varni’s sculptural tour de force. The marble masterpiece “Ninfa” was created and inscribed in the late 19th century and depicts an alluring feminine sea deity, enrobed in a wet shirt covering the breast and draped in shells, corals, and sea urchins.
Although the only piece delivered by Moretti this year, this sculpture was truly one of the more charming examples of finesse and realism that we have seen.
Musée Collection Des Arts
One of the more exhilarating exhibitions that we witnessed in Monaco was Golden Snuffboxes, presented by the renowned private collectors Musée Collection des Arts and Magdalena M. Gabriel. The 18th century artwork was occasionally referred to as a “century of snuffboxes”, not only because of the enormous demand for a fashionable and practical storage container for snuff tobacco but also because the best goldsmiths in Europe were overloaded with work creating these timeless accessories that doubled as a discreet display of elite social status. A landmark accessory in the past and almost completely absent in present-day fashion, these snuffboxes are phenomenal works of precision and creativity. Materials ranging from gold painted ivory, tortoiseshell, and enamel were combined to create one-of-a-kind pieces that withstood centuries of stormy upheavals, generations of changes, and wartime conflict and persist as delightful remembrances of decoration and artisanship.
Numerous other unique and remarkable items were exhibited at this year’s Monaco Art Week – and every piece has our admiration – however, we’ve chosen only a few of our favorites for this text. We are thrilled to have been a part of this event and hope to continue in attendance for years to come. Stay tuned!
Photo credits: Alice Bensi
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