Tefaf Maastricht is back after a 3-year corona break. These are the trends at the art and antiques fair

In Maastricht, Hidde van Seggelen crosses the site where Tefaf (The European Fine Art Fair) is being built. “It’s extremely hectic,” he says, presiding over the world’s leading art and antiques fair. “There are more than two hundred judges here to judge all the works at the fair, from Indian jewelry to Spanish painting.”

Tefaf has a lot to celebrate this year. This edition, from June 25 to 30, marks the 35th anniversary of the fair. It is also the first Dutch edition after two years of stagnation due to the corona edition was already in New York in May. “Normally we host Tefaf Maastricht in March, but due to covid we chose June this year.”

Does Van Seggelen see more consequences of the corona or of the war in Ukraine? “Not in the art market itself yet, but it will probably come. Changes in the economy are often delayed in the visible art market. What we see is that art transports and materials to build the fair are astronomically expensive, but that is how it is now in all sectors. ”

Only at Tefaf

Tefaf does not have its reputation as a top exchange for nothing. The inspectors are strict, not all dealers of art, antiques or design can go there, while many would like to. “We have an interesting painting by the Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi. The dealer, Jean-François Heim, could also have auctioned it off in a house like Christie’s or Sotheby’s. But he would take it to Maastricht, nowhere else,” says Van Seggelen.

According to the chairman, Tefaf owes its popularity among art dealers largely to the buyers who travel to Maastricht. Who are the buyers? “For example, museums like the American Getty, which comes with a whole team of curators to see what they can buy.”

The seventeenth-century painting by Artemisia Gentileschi also illustrates a recent trend in Tefaf and in the art market. “More emphasis has been placed on female artists. I think that is quite right. Every now and then you have to correct the story, for example if art has been unfairly hidden because the creator was a woman. ”

Top piece by the Italian artist Artemisia Gentileschi from the 17th century, Cleopatra on her Deathbed, Clasping a Viper, on the stand of Jean Francois Heim, art dealer from Basel, Switzerland.Statue of Roger Dohmen

Highlight 1: Golden Age Power Woman

One of the female champions in the spotlight this year is Artemisia Gentileschi. A large part of her oeuvre consists of paintings with strong female protagonists. Her portrait of herself as Cleopatra on her deathbed with a viper in her hand is one of Tefaf’s gems.

Collectors are becoming more ambitious

Another striking trend: collectors are limiting themselves less and less to one specialization. “In the past, there were some who specifically collected Dutch drawings or Dutch silver. Now more collectors are focusing on different disciplines. Tefaf is also well suited for this: Here you will find almost seven thousand years of history in objects and art. ”

Where does the broader interest come from? “Partly because of the capital market, which has developed since the 1980s and which has given rise to new collectors. If there is more capital, the art market will grow, as was seen in the nineteenth and in the golden age.

“You also see more and more private museums for individual collectors. Globalization plays a role in this. There are hundreds of private museums in China alone. All in all, it can be said that today’s collectors are more ambitious than before. ”

Art dealer Christopher Bishop from New York with his accidentally acquired portrait of Admiral Trump, designed by Jan Lievens.  Statue of Roger Dohmen

Art dealer Christopher Bishop from New York with his accidentally acquired portrait of Admiral Trump, designed by Jan Lievens.Statue of Roger Dohmen

Highlight 2: Masterpiece Rediscovered

An original work from the golden age by the painter Jan Lievens has been rediscovered after 132 years. It is a drawing by Admiral Maarten Tromp who had been lost since 1888. The drawing appeared in 2020 at an online antiques auction in the United States and can be seen for the first time for the public under Tefaf.


Meanwhile, Van Seggelen also sees a rejuvenation among traders. A few years ago, his predecessor founded the Tefaf Showcase, part of Tefaf, where young traders can exhibit their wares in stands of eight to ten square meters. “In recent years, it has been seen that they are slowly entering the stock market. I myself have been in such a showcase for the first time. ”

Tefaf 2022 also emphasizes contemporary art. “We have a really good offer at the moment. In my own stand at the fair, I have a beautiful presentation of Wim T. Schippers, who will be eighty next week.”

Holland, Maastricht, 24-06-22 Tefaf supports the restoration of De poplarenlaan near Nuenen, an oil painting by Van Gogh from the collection of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum.  Statue of Roger Dohmen

Holland, Maastricht, 24-06-22Tefaf supports the restoration of De populierenlaan near Nuenen, an oil painting by Van Gogh from the collection of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum.Statue of Roger Dohmen

Highlight 3: Van Gogh restoration

Tefaf supports the restoration of Poplar avenue near Nuenen, an oil painting by Van Gogh from the collection of the Boijmans Van Beuningen Museum. Tefafs Museum Restoration Fund is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, and the work will be exhibited during the fair prior to the restoration.

Also read:

Refreshment for the top art fair Tefaf

Tefaf wants to remain the most important art and antiques fair in the world and become more attractive to young people. No boring stands and mediocre art, but stimulating presentations and more top quality.

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