About Us

London UK

The Matthiesen Gallery was founded in 1978 by Patrick Matthiesen, son  of renowned Berlin and London dealer Francis Matthiesen, who had arranged the sale of pictures on behalf of The Hermitage in the late 1920s and 30s. Now soon entering its fifth decade, this purpose-built gallery in the heart of St. James, has established a formidable reputation as a leading international dealer in important Italian, French and Spanish artworks, dating from the 14th Century up to and including many of the major nineteenth century schools. Over the years the Gallery has sold on multiple occasions to well over 100 international institutions.

Beginning in 1981 with their exhibition Important Italian Baroque Paintings 1600-1700, the Matthiesen Gallery established its continuing commitment to mounting exhibitions accompanied by scholarly catalogues which have not only fostered art historical discussion, but also in some cases, introduced new areas of connoisseurship and collecting to the London and international markets.

Other major exhibitions of Italian art include Early Italian Paintings 1300-1480 (1983); From Borso to Cesare dEste 1450-1628 (1984), an extraordinary show of Ferrarese painting, which was presented with the co-operation of the Italian Government; and other dedicated exhibitions of later baroque paintings (1985 and 1986), Emilian paintings (1987), and rococo and early neo-classical paintings of the settecento (1987). Later, in 1996, the Gallery mounted a landmark exhibition of Italian primitives, Gold Backs 1250-1480. This exhibition which re-introduced the study and connoisseurship of these rare works to the London market, was accompanied by a fully illustrated hardback catalogue written by several of the most renowned authorities in this field.

To mark the turn of the millennium, in 2001 the Gallery released a major catalogue of Italian art covering the period 1500-1720, which included the discovery of a painting attributed to the young Raphael. The following year the Gallery published a newly discovered Andrea del Sarto. The Gallery has also published other dedicated studies on Polidoro da Caravaggio, Jacobello del Fiore, Gaspare Vanvitelli, Francesco del Cairo, Niccolo Renieri, and a rare and intact suite of important Florentine baroque paintings depicting The Four Seasons.

The Gallery commitment to French art has resulted in several successful exhibitions mounted in conjunction with the former Stair Sainty Matthiesen Gallery in New York, including Romance and Chivalry, an exhibition of troubadour paintings (1997) and a survey of French landscape painting, The Gallic Prospect (1999). The London Gallery has also dedicated studies of French painting including works on Jean-Baptiste Chardin, Jean-Victor Bertin (2004) and Jacques Blanchard (2008), the last two being, at the time, the first English language studies of these artists and more recently in 2010 Revolution-Republique-Empire-Restauration to cover French art 1789-1848.

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Also in 2004 the Gallery organised the exhibition Plein-air painting in Europe 1780-1850, a travelling exhibition of over 100 works of art, which was shown at the Shizuoka Prefectural Museum, Japan, The National Gallery of Victoria and the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia. This exhibition was accompanied by a catalogue including contributions from some of the most recognised curators and collectors in this field.

In 1999 the Matthiesen Gallery decided to dramatically expand upon their involvement in Spanish art which they established over ten years before with An Eye on Nature: Spanish Still Life Painting, an exhibition which included masterworks by Luis Melendez, Tomás Hiepes, Juan Sánchez Cotan, and Francisco de Zurbarán, many of which had not been seen outside of Spain prior to the landmark exhibitions at the Kimball Museum, Fort Worth and the National Gallery in London. In October 2009 the Gallery opened The Mystery of Faith: An Eye on Spanish Sculpture 1550-1750, a survey exhibition of religious polychrome sculpture. This exhibition ran concurrently with the National Gallery ground-breaking show, The Sacred Made Real, Spanish Painting and Sculpture 1600-1700. In recent years the Gallery has issued a series of limited edition specially bound catalogues dedicated to specialist art historical themes which have included works on artists such as Luca Giordano, Dosso Dossi, Joseph Wright of Derby, Francis Cotes, James Ward, Theodore Rousseau, Jacques Blanchard, Jacobello del Fiore and Polidoro da Caravaggio and ground-breaking catalogues on Spanish medieval painters amongst others. Publications on Jacob Jordaens and Guido Reni are planned for 2017