Rafael Valls

Opened in 1976 by Rafael Valls and his wife Carole, the gallery was first established in Bury Street, later moving to Ryder Street. It then settled on Duke Street where it is still today. From the very beginning, Rafael Valls focuses on Old Master Paintings – Dutch, Flemish and Spanish paintings from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The gallery is a member of The Society of London Art Dealers.

Rafael Valls

Opened in 1976 by Rafael Valls and his wife Carole, the gallery was first established in Bury Street, later moving to Ryder Street. It then settled on Duke Street where it is still today. From the very beginning, Rafael Valls focuses on Old Master Paintings – Dutch, Flemish and Spanish paintings from the 16th to the 19th centuries. The gallery is a member of The Society of London Art Dealers.

Antique Art

11 Duke Street, St. James’s
London SW1Y 6BN, UK

+44 207 930 1144
toby@rafaelvalls.co.uk

Mazzoleni - Alberto Burri
Saint Francis in the Deser

Giovanni Bellini (ca. 1430/35-1516)
Circa 1476 – 1478
Oil on panel
Panel: 124,6 x 142cm (49 1/16 x 55 7/8 in.)
Frick Collection (1915.1.03)

All our Interviews

Open Quote

Read all our exclusive interviews with antique, modern, contemporary & primitive art dealers.

Close Quote
|

Interview with Toby Campbell ~ Director

Luigi Mazzoleni

Toby Campbell in Rafael Valls Ltd.

Interview by Pauline Loeb-Obrenan, founder of artfairmag.

For about 25 years, Rafael Valls puts an emphasis on museum-quality Master Paintings. Besides the expensive works that have built its strong reputation, the gallery also offers more affordable and still lovely pieces to meet the demand of young collectors. I have spoken with Toby Campbell, Director of the gallery, about his background, the gallery and the antique art market.

artfairmag: Toby, for those who don’t know you, who are you and how did antique art come to you?

Toby Campbell: I am a Director of Rafael Valls Ltd and have been there for over 20 years. I first worked for Rafael Valls in my gap year having gained a passion for Art at school and realised that this was what I wanted to do.

artfairmag: The gallery’s offer within the Old Master Paintings is quite broad. In addition to your core specialty – Dutch, Flemish and Spanish paintings – you often present English and French 18th and 19th century works. How do you choose the paintings you sell?

T. C.: You are right, we do have a very eclectic taste over our core areas. We like to choose paintings we would happily like to own ourselves. Another key ingredient to them is condition and quality. We do not worry if the artist is not well known. If the painting appeals to us and it falls within our criteria then we will try to buy it.

artfairmag: The gallery has built an enviable reputation by its high-quality paintings that have all been carefully selected. Who can afford them? Are they private collectors or institutions?

T. C.: We are lucky to deal with private collectors from many countries around the world as well as many large and smaller institutions. We try to be affordable to anyones budget who is looking for a good painting.

“We like to choose paintings we would happily like to own ourselves. Another key ingredient to them is condition and quality.”

artfairmag: You organise once a year an exhibition to present artworks under £15.000. Can you explain what motivated this brilliant initiative?

T. C.: As I mentioned before we are not afraid to buy something by a very minor painter if it is exceptional and this is what motivated this idea. We felt that too many really good paintings go ignored because they are not by a recognised name. It is also trying to encourage anyone to look (established and new collectors) and see what we have and to feel that they can afford or are buying a really good painting.

artfairmag: Speaking of exhibitions, are the works presented in your thematic exhibitions – such as Sex & Sensuality in 2018, for example – all from your own stock or do you use loans?

T. C.: We try to use our own stock as the genesis of the idea of the exhibition and then bolster it with loans from colleagues. We used to try and obtain loans from institutions, but it has become too costly to continue with that sadly.

artfairmag: On your website, visitors can explore the gallery, discover selected works and see paintings from past exhibitions. You seem to be in phase with the digitalization that is taking place in the art market with the current health crisis. Do you think the profession of art dealer will have to evolve in the next few years?

T. C.: Digitaliztion has always been an important part of our business and this crisis has only increased the pace of development. I am convinced it will develop further in the coming years. I don’t think though that digital art fairs will ever replace the physical art fair.

artfairmag: Last but not least, could you present a painting that is special for you?

T. C.: I have always loved Giovanni Bellini’s St Francis in the Frick. It is a jaw dropping painting so full of incident and beauty you can stare at it for months and still find something new every time.

More Interviews

Knokke Art Fair
Brame & Lorenceau

Brame & Lorenceau is a family-run gallery which has built its reputation on French painting and sculpture of the 19th century, and has broaden its speciality with 20th century.

Knokke Art Fair
Galerie Kugel

Located in Hôtel Collot near the Place de la Concorde, the Galerie J. Kugel is specialized in museum-quality artworks from Medieval & Renaissance down to the Empire period.

Knokke Art Fair
Colnaghi

Created in 1783, Colnaghi is one of the oldest galleries. Specialised in the European Old Master paintings and sculptures, it is co-directed since 2015 by Jorge Coll.

Knokke Art Fair
Brimo de Laroussilhe

Founded in 1908 and now directed by Marie-Amélie Carlier, Brimo de Laroussilhe is a Parisian gallery which focuses on the arts of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.

@193gallery at @artmonte_carlo 2024. @cesar.levy1 presents a large steel piece by @aldochaparro.

Outfit by @elisechalmin 💝

#aldochaparro #artmontecarlo #montecarlo #monaco #contemporarysculpture #steelsculpture #artoftheday

@193gallery at @artmonte_carlo 2024. @cesar.levy1 presents a large steel piece by @aldochaparro.

Outfit by @elisechalmin 💝

#aldochaparro #artmontecarlo #montecarlo #monaco #contemporarysculpture #steelsculpture #artoftheday
...

1141 65
📣 Interviews at @artmonte_carlo 2024: 
• @193gallery (Video cover: @aldochaparrostudios)
• @hauserwirth 
• @lisson_gallery 
• @galerie_retelet 
• @vandeweghefineart 

Striped outfit by @elisechalmin 💝

#artmontecarlo #artdealer #contemporaryart #artinterview #artlover #monaco

📣 Interviews at @artmonte_carlo 2024:
• @193gallery (Video cover: @aldochaparrostudios)
• @hauserwirth
• @lisson_gallery
• @galerie_retelet
• @vandeweghefineart

Striped outfit by @elisechalmin 💝

#artmontecarlo #artdealer #contemporaryart #artinterview #artlover #monaco
...

823 46
@artmonte_carlo 2024! My flight was delayed by two hours, so I didn’t have time to make a long video introducing this 8th edition, but great interviews are coming up along with my detailed article! Stay tuned 😉

Thanks @flyblade for the ride and @elisechalmin for the stunning silk outfit 💝

#artmontecarlo #helicopter #blade #monaco #montecarlo #artmonaco #collector #artlover

@artmonte_carlo 2024! My flight was delayed by two hours, so I didn’t have time to make a long video introducing this 8th edition, but great interviews are coming up along with my detailed article! Stay tuned 😉

Thanks @flyblade for the ride and @elisechalmin for the stunning silk outfit 💝

#artmontecarlo #helicopter #blade #monaco #montecarlo #artmonaco #collector #artlover
...

1546 104
@therealclarechu at @printempsasiatiqueparis 2024 presented an amazing collection of Asian snuff bottles.

#snuffbottle #snuffbottles #antiqueart #antiqueasianart  #chineseart #japaneseart

@therealclarechu at @printempsasiatiqueparis 2024 presented an amazing collection of Asian snuff bottles.

#snuffbottle #snuffbottles #antiqueart #antiqueasianart #chineseart #japaneseart
...

477 18
@cardigallery at @artbasel 2024. Founder @joelaplaca presents an impressive installation by Mario Ceroli, Progetto per la pace, 1968. 

#marioceroli #artbasel #artbasel2024 #contemporaryart #artgallery #artforpeace

@cardigallery at @artbasel 2024. Founder @joelaplaca presents an impressive installation by Mario Ceroli, Progetto per la pace, 1968.

#marioceroli #artbasel #artbasel2024 #contemporaryart #artgallery #artforpeace
...

817 41
@gillianjasongallery at @voltaartfairs Basel 2024. Founder @milliejasonfoster presents a series of paintings by @eleanorjohnsonstudio.

Striped outfit by @lapetiteetoileparis 💙

#eleanorjohnson #artgallery #contemporaryart #artinterview #artoftheday #femaleartist

@gillianjasongallery at @voltaartfairs Basel 2024. Founder @milliejasonfoster presents a series of paintings by @eleanorjohnsonstudio.

Striped outfit by @lapetiteetoileparis 💙

#eleanorjohnson #artgallery #contemporaryart #artinterview #artoftheday #femaleartist
...

1181 58
@mennour at @artbasel 2024. Founder Kamel Mennour presents three ‘Monks’ by @ugorondinone0 from 2024.

#ugorondinone #rondinone #kamelmennour #mennour #artbasel #artbasel2024 #contemporaryart
@kamelmennourprivate

@mennour at @artbasel 2024. Founder Kamel Mennour presents three ‘Monks’ by @ugorondinone0 from 2024.

#ugorondinone #rondinone #kamelmennour #mennour #artbasel #artbasel2024 #contemporaryart
@kamelmennourprivate
...

2727 105
@applicatprazan at @artbasel 2024. Owner Franck Prazan presents a painting by Jean Dubuffet from 1950, previously owned by the MoMA of New York and sold on day 1 at the fair. 

#jeandubuffet #dubuffet #dubuffetfoundation #modernart #artbasel #modernpainting

@applicatprazan at @artbasel 2024. Owner Franck Prazan presents a painting by Jean Dubuffet from 1950, previously owned by the MoMA of New York and sold on day 1 at the fair.

#jeandubuffet #dubuffet #dubuffetfoundation #modernart #artbasel #modernpainting
...

988 48
Art Basel 2024:🎙️Upcoming interviews:
• @mennour 
• @seankellygallery 
• @cardigallery 
• @applicatprazan 
• @goodman_gallery 
• @galerieasbenichou 

#artbasel #mennour #seankelly #artbasel2024 #artexploration #contemporaryart #artlover

Art Basel 2024:🎙️Upcoming interviews:
• @mennour
• @seankellygallery
• @cardigallery
• @applicatprazan
• @goodman_gallery
• @galerieasbenichou

#artbasel #mennour #seankelly #artbasel2024 #artexploration #contemporaryart #artlover
...

2101 87
@rademakersgallery at @voltaartfairs Basel 2024. Founder Pien Rademakers presents a monkey family made with bullet shells by Sebiha Demir
@sebiha.d.art 
Outfit by @lapetiteetoileparis 

#volta #voltabasel #sebihademir #artoftheday #artcollector #artinterview 
@pienrademakers

@rademakersgallery at @voltaartfairs Basel 2024. Founder Pien Rademakers presents a monkey family made with bullet shells by Sebiha Demir
@sebiha.d.art
Outfit by @lapetiteetoileparis

#volta #voltabasel #sebihademir #artoftheday #artcollector #artinterview
@pienrademakers
...

1356 39
@galerie_hioco_asian_art at @printempsasiatiqueparis 2024. Founder Christophe Hioco presents a set of ceramics by @izumita_tobachi.

#ceramic #contemporaryceramic #asianart #izumita #japaneseceramics #japaneseart

@galerie_hioco_asian_art at @printempsasiatiqueparis 2024. Founder Christophe Hioco presents a set of ceramics by @izumita_tobachi.

#ceramic #contemporaryceramic #asianart #izumita #japaneseceramics #japaneseart
...

608 32
@nm.artd at @bad.bordeaux 2024. Natalia presents me the amazing sculptures and lamps by @sofia_karnukaeva @karnukaeva_studio 

Red outfit by @et.paris 

#sofiakarnukaeva #design #designlamp #designsculpture #designobject #ceramics

@nm.artd at @bad.bordeaux 2024. Natalia presents me the amazing sculptures and lamps by @sofia_karnukaeva @karnukaeva_studio

Red outfit by @et.paris

#sofiakarnukaeva #design #designlamp #designsculpture #designobject #ceramics
...

1007 38