Piano Nobile was established in 1985 by Dr Robert Travers, following doctoral studies in London and Paris. Today, the gallery is run by Robert and his son, Matthew Travers, a graduate of the Courtauld Institute of Art.
The gallery has been based for twenty years in the heart of Holland Park, and, in 2015, opened an additional exhibition space in Kings Cross. The original family gallery was started in Rome during the inter-war period, specialising in Italian Old and Modern Masters. The name of the gallery, Piano Nobile, derives from the Italian phrase piano nobile – the first or second floor of an Italian palazzo displaying the best art – reflecting the gallery’s history.
The gallery specialises in Modern and Contemporary British and International works of art. We also represent a select stable of contemporary artists and artists’ estates.
The gallery seeks to lead and shape the Modern British art market, defining the artistic canon and situating it within its international context. With curatorial flair and a refined aesthetic grounded in rigorous scholarship, we seek to source and present exceptional works of art, endeavouring to constantly expand our inventory. We place the utmost importance on discretion and transparency, and work with clients to develop a tailored sales approach, whether buying or selling.
With a discerning and individual vision, the gallery mounts pioneering exhibitions based upon academic research and produces authoritative publications under the gallery's imprint, Piano Nobile Publications. The gallery holds around six exhibitions annually across both gallery spaces in Holland Park and King’s Cross, and participates in many art fairs throughout the year.
Recent exhibitions with accompanying catalogues include: Mark Gertler: Works 1912-28: A Tremendous Show of Vitality, 2012; William Crozier: Works 1958-1964, 2013; Paul Nash: Watercolours 1910-1946, 2014; John Golding: Finding the Absolute, 2015; John Armstrong: Paintings 1938-1958, 2015; Aspects of Abstraction: 1952-2007, 2016; and William Coldstream | Euan Uglow: Daisies and Nudes, 2016-17.
We are always seeking to acquire works of art from private collectors and would be delighted to hear from you if you have an artwork you are considering selling.
Philanthropy and Collaborations
Piano Nobile is committed to supporting public art institutions and museums. Projects we have recently worked with include the Paul Nash retrospective at Tate Britain, 2016-17 and the Courtauld Institute of Art’s two-day conference on John Golding, 2015.
The gallery manages the Ruth Borchard Collection, the UK’s only dedicated collection of self-portraits, and Piano Nobile Kings Place gallery hosts the biennial Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize. We also work in partnership with Bristol University to provide graduate students with internships to produce the Nobile Indexes, publications charting the auction records of seminal Modern British artists.
The gallery has collaborated with a number of museums on exhibitions including, most recently, Tate, the Yale Center for British Art, Museum Beeldan aan Zee, the Imperial War Museum, Pallant House Gallery, Penlee House Gallery, the Jerwood Gallery, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, and the Lightbox Gallery.