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Marc Antoine du Ry is the first dealer in the world exclusively specialised in Medieval art and culture. With a background in Literary and Economic studies, Marc Antoine du Ry first worked for various rare books and manuscripts sellers in London, before founding Medieval Art in 1997.

Marc du Ry actively promotes scholarly research and conservation of art from both the earliest and the most consequential period of the European heritage. This art includes sculpture and painting (which is mostly manuscript illumination) as well as applied works of art and craft in metals, ivory and enamel. Good furniture and the finest printing is also included in this cultural legacy.

We take pride in our innovative pricing policy, in which prices of unique works are not only agreed in an environment of maximum discretion and optimum fairness, but where the potential buyer is invited to take an active role if they feel so inclined.

We occasionally give art historical advice at our discretion. We regret that we cannot give probate, insurance, valuation or any other legal or financial advice.

Diclaimer. This website has now navigated over two decades and the online world has moved on. Like an old mercedes I am too fond of it to renew it anytime soon. Unfortunately, being too uninteresting to attract a Following, with a Face that is only seen by the printed Book, Telegrams that are anything but Instant and more inclined to Feed birds rather than Twits, the interested visitor is left with a simple choice: call or email. Needless to add that anyone stopping by here is assured of a very warm and hearty welcome.

Though enough European medieval art has survived the destruction of iconoclasm, reformation and revolution, the relative scarcity of the better material does not warrant more than the occasional fair. Where a work merits a monograph or in case enough material comes together at once, a themed catalogue will be produced. Periodically we will endeavour to issue lists of newly acquired works.

A short word on medieval art today.

At the very start of the new millennium I ran an experiment with a colleague in a new gallery called medievalmodern in which living artists were invited to allow themselves to be inspired by medieval works of their choosing, resulting in six such shows being staged over a couple of years. Entertaining as this was it also brought into sharp focus the reasons for its failure, why the spolia of medieval art remained fundamentally ill at ease in this brave new context, and why the gap between the 'now' and the 'then' seems to have widened to more 'abysmal' proportions.

Is it perhaps due to a metaphysical shift, one which would then have at least moves? First, ‘Contemporary Art’ seems premised on a complete, total and comprehensive ignorance of history, certainly pre WWI, while at the same time the word art is now routinely written in capital letters as if that was sufficient to give it the dignity of (metaphysical) being. Second, it differentiates itself from all previous notions of art by positing the casual irrelevance of beauty as either goal or criterion.

Was it perhaps in the 1960s that thinking about art changed from why a human hand made that artefact and not another to questions of why the hand was making anything at all? In other words, where before there was always an ‘artefact’ and art was a material ‘fact’ accessible to a connoisseur, today, if there is an artefact or work, it is the residue or byproduct of a process and of almost secondary importance compared to this process itself. Most noticeable here is the extent to which this ‘process’ is conditioned by questions derived from new disciplines such as sociology and psychology, - giving it the distinct flavour of ‘occupational therapy’, - as well as the degree of political reflection devoted to it.

At its peak, and as in classical Antiquity, medieval art worked on a large and public scale, much of it accessible to all, and this is perhaps its closest connection to the very-large scale and exciting commissions and exhibitions, both public or private, of the 21st century, which otherwise in their boldness and sheer reach have no precedent.

However, it as well not to be blind to the differences either. The aims then were largely didactic given that the patron was the Church itself, whereas art today is made with money, through money, for money and by money. Indeed, if the best-loved painter of all time were alive today, he would certainly still have painted the ‘Triumph of death’ but he would almost equally certainly have painted a 'Triumph of money’. If is not be to wondered at that in the age of capital it is the ‘market’ that determines the ‘art’ rather than vice versa, it is equally important to understand from the outset that the surviving fragments from the European Middle Ages shown here because of their historical and aesthetic interest can never dip into that current.

This site is therefore mainly the expression of a pious wish that medieval art will find its way to future generations.

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