Riccardo Bacarelli, the son of Benvenuto, runs the Galleria Bacarelli, established in 1923 by his grandfather Rizieri. Throughout its history, from the early 20th century up to the present day, the business located in the center of Florence has dealt with Italian antiques with passion and expertise.
Riccardo has specialized in dealing in Old Master paintings, sculpture and works of art with a particular focus on Italian art from the Renaissance to the Neoclassical period.
He is currently Vice President of the Italian Antiquarians Association AAI and participates in the Florence International Antiques Fair as member of the Board of Directors. Riccardo has also turned his attention to the international market, exhibiting at TEFAF Maastricht and having participated in Frieze Masters London since its first edition, as well as Masterpiece and TEFAF New York.
Galleria Bacarelli is located in Palazzo della Manifattura Arte della Seta, a building that represents one of the best-known examples of the taste for the medieval style popular in the early 20th century, along Via dei Fossi, the principal street in Florence dedicated to furniture, art and antiques.
“There have always been those who create art and those who desire it.”
In conversation with Riccardo Bacarelli, Bacarelli
Is there a Made in Italy in your work? What distinguishes the Italian art scene?
Since ancient times, the Italian antiquarian – with his work of searching for, finding, studying, collecting or marketing the work that had escaped him, or not, because it was well known – has contributed to valorize and further explore the history of our country, where there is no inhabited place in which there is no “antique shop” or “art gallery.” Art and Italy: an inseparable union.
What is your background?
My grandfather Rizieri, in love with art, decided to become an antique dealer, and in 1923, when my father Benvenuto was born, he obtained a license from the City of Florence. For me, it was “normal” to continue the family business, but what I must be grateful to them for is their having taught me to love art, transmitting passion and interest in a “craft” chosen not for convenience, but in which I believe and continue to believe.
What kind of art do you deal with?
I deal in Italian Old Master art dating from the Renaissance to the Neoclassical period: paintings, sculptures and works of art. However, my curiosity has also led me to explore other areas, and I have collaborated with modern and contemporary art galleries. There are no limits to my interests, but commercially I prefer professionalism: I continue to deal with what we have been proposing for a century.
A gallerist from whom you learned the tricks of the trade and a younger one whose “mentor” you would like to be?
You can imagine how many stories and words of advice I have heard from my father, an antique dealer, the son of an antique dealer. During the whole of the last century, my father and my grandfather stored up an infinity of “tricks of the trade” and advice that they then handed down to me, and I desire to pass them on to my son Lapo. Handed-down experience to be cherished like a treasure.
How would you explain the certainty of a future for those who deal with art?
A few hours after Man began to be considered as such, he felt the need to express himself through art. Since that initial moment, not a single instant has passed in which man has not had this need. There have always been those who create art and those who desire it, and to think that there is no future for this primordial desire would be like thinking that there is no future for Man.