Pick of the week

Country Life Every Week - - Art Market -

When you read this, I will have paid my first visit to the bi­en­nial Gotha Fair at Parma and shall re­port on it shortly, but it will still be pos­si­ble for any­one trav­el­ling to Italy to see it, as it runs to Sun­day. Launched in 1994, the name is taken from the aris­to­cratic bible, the Al­manach de Gotha, to sig­nify ex­cel­lence. Some 50 lead­ing Ital­ian deal­ers of­fer paint­ings, sculp­ture, fur­ni­ture, jew­els, ob­jets d’art and cu­riosi­ties in the Fiere di Parma.

Ei­ther of the lat­ter cat­e­gories could in­clude a splen­did ebony, crys­tal and em­bossed sil­ver reli­quary (right) to be shown by MR An­ti­chità Di Rita Stasi at €35,000 (£32,000). The sil­ver bees sug­gest that it may have been com­mis­sioned by the Bar­berini Pope Ur­ban VIII.

The city will also be cel­e­brat­ing the 200th an­niver­sary of the ar­rival of Napoleon’s sec­ond wife, the Em­press Marie Louise, to her re­tire­ment job as sov­er­eign Duchess of Parma. There will be ex­hi­bi­tions in her hon­our and, as she was a gourmet as well as an art lover, I am look­ing for­ward to the sup­per at the Gotha pre­view, in­spired by her favourite dishes.

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