Elizabeth Fitzsimmons, a dealer who specialises in Old Master portraiture.

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1 How did you get your start as a dealer?

My start comes down to being a third-generation dealer with an upbringing immersed in the art world. Since a young age, I have travelled across Europe in the search for antiques and works of art, visiting galleries, art markets and fairs with my father, who is a specialist dealer of early oak furniture. These experiences inevitably influenced my passion for history and art and have encouraged my pursuit in becoming a fine art dealer.

2 What is one great discovery you’ve made?

A portrait miniature of a gentleman by Luke Sullivan (1705-71), painted at the heart of London’s artistic life and at the height of his career.

Sullivan was known for having a colourful career as an artist and for his great talent. He acquired not just the skill of a successful engraver but became known for his paintings of watercolours, landscapes, architectural views and most of all for his portrait miniatures. William Hogarth also employed Sullivan as his assistant engraver.


A portrait miniature of a gentleman by Luke Sullivan (1705-71), discovered by Elizabeth Fitzsimmons.

3 What is one item you couldn’t do without?

I couldn’t live without my painting equipment. I love to paint with watercolours and, coming from Cornwall, I am particularly influenced by the ocean – I enjoy painting seascapes with loose and free brushwork.

4 Who do you admire in the art/ antiques world (in or outside the trade)?

I owe a lot to my family who I admire for encouraging and supporting my venture into the art world.

5 Real ale or espresso martini?

It has to be an espresso martini… with a hint of vanilla!

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