Art Mar­ket

The Paris Sa­lon du Dessin con­tin­ues to go from strength to strength

Country Life Every Week - - Contents -

Huon Mal­lalieu finds the Paris Sa­lon du Dessin go­ing strong

The pre­view even­ing at the Paris Sa­lon du Dessin seemed even more crowded than ever and, in­deed, by the end of the five­day run on March 27, the to­tal num­ber of vis­i­tors, which had hov­ered around the 12,000 mark for some years, had risen to about 13,000. At least 400 draw­ings changed hands. The en­thu­si­asm of this crowd is un­like al­most any other in the art mar­ket. These are peo­ple who know and love their sub­ject and were there to meet like-minded pro­fes­sion­als and am­a­teurs, to learn and ex­change knowl­edge and, above all, to revel in beau­ti­ful, fas­ci­nat­ing works that, more than any oth­ers, show the work­ings of the minds of their cre­ators.

Given the Sa­lon, with 39 top gal­leries in me­dieval to modern works on pa­per, the Draw­ing Now con­tem­po­rary fair, and the chance of priv­i­leged ac­cess to ex­hi­bi­tions and dis­plays from the col­lec­tions of dozens of mu­se­ums and in­stither tu­tions that are nor­mally dif­fi­cult to ac­cess, it is near essential that any am­a­teur du dessin should be in Paris for at least some of the week.

Amer­i­cans may or may not be scarce at other in­ter­na­tional fairs, but they were cer­tainly among the old and com­par­a­tively young col­lec­tors, cu­ra­tors, stu­dents and deal­ers at the Sa­lon.

It is not an oc­ca­sion on which as­sump­tions could safely be made about any­one and ap­pear­ances may mis­lead. One might won­der, for in­stance, whether a man seen talk­ing an­i­mat­edly to ex­hibitors there ev­ery year is a buyer or merely a lover of vernissage Cham­pagne. In any case, eti­enne Du­mont is cer­tainly a work of art (although not strictly on pa­per) him­self. Since 2005, the 68 year old has been com­pletely [sic] cov­ered in tat­toos and he is fur-

em­bel­lished with lobe and chin discs, miscellaneous pierc­ings, rings and sil­i­con horns.

he does col­lect Old Mas­ter and 18th-cen­tury French draw­ings and he is a lead­ing Swiss art critic, un­til re­cently writ­ing a col­umn for the weighty daily Tri­bune de Genève.

I, alas, was not buy­ing, but win­dow shop­ping and, as usual, soon found a theme to fol­low. This year, there were many tempt­ing coast and beach scenes, in­clud­ing a very strik­ing wa­ter­colour study of a stormy sun­set by Ruskin, which Turner would have ap­proved of, var­i­ous harpig­nies

Fig 1 top: Boudin pas­tel. With Ga­lerie de la Prési­dence. Fig 2 above: Corot oil sketch. With De Bayser

Fig 3: Ma­hogany mi­cro­scope slide cabi­net. £12,400

Fig 4: Pen-and-ink stud­ies for Faust by Delacroix. With De Bayser

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