Welcome to my blog, Art Uncovered, which is my window into the art world, the art market, my life at Christie’s and stories from the past and present that I find interesting and worth investigating.
I am 30 years old and work as a Specialist in Old Master Paintings at Christie’s in London.
Art is in my blood. There are artists in both branches of my family. My father was related to the sculptor Anthony Caro (somewhat distantly and he doesn’t approve, but I am coming round to him). My mother was, more closely, related to John Aldridge, a rather good painter and one of the Great Barfield Artists alongside Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden.
My father is an art dealer; previously of Christie’s, he left in 1994 to set up his own gallery which has grown into a significant dealer of paintings from Old Masters to Contemporary Art. His passion for art, evident in the packed walls of our family home, has been a major influence on my sisters and I and none of us have been able to avoid its clutches. Phoebe, the eldest of us three, is an artist, Octavia, an interior decorator, and I have followed a similar path to my father.
My own art education began at home but only grew in intensity about halfway through my university life. Studying History of Art with Country House and Museum Studies at Leeds I learnt both how inadequate postmodern education is and how much I loved being in front of the real thing; the brushstrokes of a painting, fingerprints pressed into a clay model, the crumbling stone of a medieval chapel. I tried to teach myself and set off on a course of visiting all the surrounding cities for any museum or building of interest and every country house open to the public within a few hundred miles.
By the time I started at Christie’s I had traveled most of the country (although there are still many gaps in that education I would like to fill) and toured much of northern Italy on my own, in a mini-Grand Tour of historic sites and attractions.
At Christie’s I have spent eight years in the European Sculpture department before recently moving to the Old Master Paintings department. Christie’s King Street is a wonderful place to work and to learn about art; paintings, drawings, sculptures and books all radiate to this building and as a specialist you are called upon to make judgments of authorship, age and value of a myriad of different artworks every day. This is a real art education, aided by our ability to hold and touch these objects, get close to and examine them in a way you cannot in a museum.
This blog has been started during the coronavirus lockdown because I have time on my hands and wanted to create something vaguely positive in a period of uncertainty. I will post stories, insights and interviews regularly and I hope you will enjoy the journey.
Many thanks for visiting!