Art Mar­ket

Spring­time in Paris brings the an­nual Sa­lon du Dessin, which in­cludes in­trigu­ing ex­hi­bi­tions show­cas­ing mas­ters from the 16th cen­tury to the 20th cen­tury

Country Life Every Week - - Contents - Huon Mal­lalieu

Huon Mal­lalieu pre­views this year’s Sa­lon du Dessin in Paris

Last June, floods led to the tem­po­rary clo­sure of the Lou­vre and the Musée d’or­say, but, luck­ily, they were un­scathed. Not so, how­ever, the Musée Girodet sited be­tween the River Lo­ing and a canal in Mon­tar­gis, 70 miles south of Paris. as it hap­pened, the mu­seum had been largely emp­tied for restora­tion, but not only was it flooded, so too was the tem­po­rary store in a for­mer bank vault.

the mu­seum cel­e­brates the town’s most fa­mous artis­tic son, anne-louis Girodet de Roussytrio­son (1767–1824). Girodet was a highly the­atri­cal and mildly sen­sual painter who man­aged to bal­ance on the op­pos­ing artis­tic and po­lit­i­cal stools of neo-clas­si­cism and Ro­man­ti­cism; he was a fine draughts­man and many of his draw­ings were lost or dam­aged in the flood­ing. so too were other works of art, in­clud­ing paint­ings by Géri­cault and Zur­barán and plas­ter works by Henry de tri­queti, a ma­jor but in­suf­fi­ciently cel­e­brated 19th­cen­tury sculp­tor.

Most ap­pro­pri­ately, Girodet’s prepara­tory draw­ings for his fa­mous 1806 paint­ing Scene of the Del­uge (Fig 2) will be on dis­play at this year’s sa­lon du Dessin at the Palais Brong­niart in Paris from March 22 to 27, which is rais­ing funds for the mu­seum. there has also been a suc­cess­ful crowd-fund­ing ap­peal.

a fur­ther loan ex­hi­bi­tion at the sa­lon will be of 40 of the 100 or so works ac­quired over the past 10 years by a friends’ as­so­ci­a­tion, Le Cab­i­net des am­a­teurs de Dessins de l’école des Beauxarts. the École des Beaux-arts in Paris, which will cel­e­brate its bi­cen­ten­nial this year, owns one of the most im­por­tant col­lec­tions

100 Coun­try Life, March 8, 2017 of draw­ings in France. Despite lim­ited means and a chal­leng­ing mar­ket, the as­so­ci­a­tion has been able to buy im­por­tant 16th- to 20th-cen­tury draw­ings from the Ital­ian, span­ish and scan­di­na­vian as well as French schools.

at least 17 mu­se­ums in the greater Paris area will be hold­ing spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tions or open­ings dur­ing the sa­lon, in­clud­ing the Musée Condé at the Château de Chan­tilly, which is open­ing five new rooms for its graphic-art de­part­ment. there are two ma­jor shows at the Fon­da­tion Cus­to­dia, one bring­ing to­gether prepara­tory draw­ings and their paint­ings in the age of Rem­brandt and the other of Ger­man

draw­ings. There will also be two more at the Petit Palais, which to­gether con­sti­tute a com­pre­hen­sive sur­vey of 18th-cen­tury French draw­ing.

This year’s Sa­lon boasts 39 ex­hibitors, the same as in 2016, although there may be one or two fewer from abroad. One is Jean-luc Ba­roni of Ma­son’s Yard, St James’s, who, although a highly re­spected au­thor­ity on Ital­ian and French Old Master draw­ings, deals more widely in both paint­ings and works on pa­per, with a con­nois­seur’s eye for qual­ity. This is very ev­i­dent in a 41⁄3in by 27⁄8in brown-ink and wash draw­ing of a man, in a grotesque mask, per­haps rep­re­sent­ing a green man or satyr (Fig 6).

The artist, Parmi­gian­ino (1503– 40) has man­aged to con­vey hu­man­ity, ex­pressed by the eye, which makes it far less dis­turb­ing than, say, a Politico or clown mask. A tem­po­rary ex­port stop, in­ci­den­tally, is still in force for Parmi­gian­ino’s £24.5 mil­lion

Vir­gin and Child, which has been in Bri­tain for 250 years.

Mr Ba­roni’s brother JeanFrançois has his gallery in Paris, the city where the fam­ily first set up in the art busi­ness in 1919. Among his of­fer­ings will be a very hand­some 15in by 12¾in pen­cil-and-char­coal por­trait of a young man (Fig 3), per­haps a mem­ber of the De­cazes fam­ily by Alexan­dre-marie Colin (1798–1875), who was a friend of Bon­ing­ton and Delacroix— and a pupil of Girodet.

There are sev­eral pos­si­ble sons and neph­ews of the first duc De­cazes, Lib­eral prime min­is­ter un­der Louis XVIII; the signet worn on his ring fin­ger is a to­ken of French no­bil­ity.

From much later in the 19th cen­tury comes a 14½in by 6½in pen­cil, wa­ter­colour and gouache Sym­bol­ist work, Per­sian Poet (Fig 1), by Gus­tave Moreau (1826–98), which is with Tal­abar­don & Gau­tier, two deal­ers who have proved their eye by dis­cov­er­ies of paint­ings by Rem­brandt and Cas­par David Friedrich among oth­ers.

Moreau made a more elab­o­rate and fin­ished ver­sion of the Omar Khayyam-like sub­ject in 1886.

This year is the cen­te­nary of Mar­cel Duchamp’s Foun­tain and so, surely, time for artists to move be­yond the lazy idea that we can still be shocked by his Dadaist mantra that any­thing that the artist says is art is art. The Hélène Bailly Gallery has a pen­cil-and-ink draw­ing with touches of gouache, an 115⁄8in by 81 ⁄8in sketch of a young girl ad­just­ing a stock­ing (Fig 5).

It is dated 1912 and is a re­minder of how ef­fec­tively he could draw, as well as paint, be­fore he gave up such tra­di­tional ways of art-mak­ing.

Ev­ery year, one finds that sev­eral stands have ex­am­ples by an artist of whom one may not have been aware be­fore. I sus­pect that, this year, it may be the por­trait painter, il­lus­tra­tor and etcher Bernard Boutet de Mon­vel (1881–1949), as, last year, there was a large sale of his very var­ied work at Sotheby’s, Paris. Cer­tainly, Ga­lerie Ter­rades has one of his early 1930s Art De­coab­stract pen­cil draw­ings of New York build­ings (Fig 4), mea­sur­ing 17¾in by 103 ⁄8in.

Also in Paris, be­tween March 23 and 26, there is the Sa­lon du Dessin Con­tem­po­rain, oth­er­wise, Draw­ing Now, which, on last year’s form, should be well worth vis­it­ing at the Car­reau du Tem­ple, a for­mer mar­ket build­ing. There will be 72 ex­hibitors and a great deal to en­joy. Next week The Plague to end all Plagues—or not

Fig 2 top: This study for Girodet’s Scene of the Del­uge will be on dis­play. Fig 3 above: Por­trait of a young no­ble­man by Alexan­dremarie Colin. With Jean-françois Ba­roni

Fig 1: Per­sian Poet by the Sym­bol­ist Gus­tave Moreau. With Tal­abar­don & Gau­tier

Fig 5: Mar­cel Duchamp’s 1912 sketch of a young girl ad­just­ing her stock­ing. With the Hélène Bailly Gallery

Fig 4: Pen­cil draw­ing of New York by Bernard Boutet de Mon­vel. With Ga­lerie Ter­rades

Fig 6: Parmi­gian­ino’s masked mann. With Jean-luc Ba­roni

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.