The decision to delay the sales (due to the Chinese New Year) from early February until early March means that we are somewhat frantic in the coming two weeks with the advent of the London auction season overlapping with the opening of TEFAF Maastricht – the vast art fair, held in southern Holland, that covers over 7,000 years of art history.

At the auctions the highlights are numerous and Christie’s Surrealist sale is always a focus of the March season: the top lot, a René Magritte painting at 30m GBP, ‘L’ami intime’, is a signature late 1950s piece showing his iconic bowler-hatted man looking out to a Magritte-clouded distance. Evening sale highlights include a ravishing Jawlensky portrait: ‘Frau aus Turkestan’, a Pool painting by David Hockney and a top-class Monet depicting the Seine from his seminal series of 1897.

Over at Sotheby’s there is a stunning constellation-period Joan Miró of 1946, a superb Paul Signac painting depicting the sunset over St. Tropez and a very rare (and very wonderful) Vlaminck of 1906 – at the crux of his Fauvist best. The day sales boast some wonderful pieces too with a Cubist Henri Hayden estimated at 10,000 GBP through to a wonderful large Van Rysselberghe ‘À l’ombre des pins (Agay)’ at 500,000 GBP – every movement from 1870-present is covered!

Phillips also have a smaller sale than usual, but I love the range of work in their Evening Sale: from a fabulous Auerbach, JYM Seated in the Studio II, to a sensational Kusama Infinity Nets (ZXSSAO). My picture to watch is the Daisy Dodd-Noble at 10,000 GBP (low estimate) in their day sale – if it doesn’t make 60,000 GBP I would be amazed!

The sale links are here:

6th March

Sotheby’s London: Modern & Contemporary Evening Auction featuring The Now at 1800 GMT

7th March 

Sotheby’s London: Modern & Contemporary Day Auction at 1030 GMT

Phillips London: 20th Century and Contemporary Art Evening Sale at 1500 GMT

Christie’s London: 20th / 21st Century Evening Sale at 1700 GMT

Christie’s London: The Art of the Surreal Evening Sale at 1900 GMT

8th March

Christie’s London: Impressionist & Modern Art Day & Works on Paper Sale at 1300 GMT

Phillips London: 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale at 1300 GMT

9th March

Christie’s London: Post-War and Contemporary Art Day Sale at 1300 GMT

TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) promises much as there is always a majestic find that whets the appetite for collectors of every style and period. This term the phenomenal unveiling by Robilant & Voena of Gentilischi’s Penitent Magdalene of c. 1626 will be the standout for the Old Masters Section. However, in their own ways each gallery’s booth boasts something particularly special to cater for the consummate taste of European art collectors. This year a special ‘Focus’ Section will be a platform for those galleries wanting to investigate and ‘delve more deeply into the work of a single artist or concept’. It sounds like in interesting idea but I only hope it is not a gimmick in the making. Overall I cannot recommend a visit enough but do stay for two days as the centre of Maastricht comes alive in the evenings and there is plenty to see! I can’t wait to visit and will be in TEFAF over the opening four days.

TEFAF Maastricht