Taking place under the prestigious Carrousel du Louvre, the event has been attracting since its creation very well-known European dealers in a very intimate atmosphere. Due to the success of the fair, the initial number of 34 exhibitors grew this year to 46. A tendency which, apparently, won’t stop as the organization announced its moving to a bigger and more prestigious space for its next edition: “La Cour du Dôme des Invalides” - to host even more exhibitors, collectors, and aficionados. Eventually, the “Hors-les murs” (Semaine des Beaux-arts) reinforced the closeness between the fair and institutions, indeed, 18 museums proposed private visits during the event.
Under a curatorial perspective
Allotted to paintings and sculptures, Fine Arts Paris proposed a diverse selection of masterpieces from the era before Antic Greece till the Modern Art period. However, the fair does not position itself as a generalist one. Its ambition is actually to become an unavoidable event on the Parisian art market for paintings, sculptures and old master drawings. Moreover, new categories such as archeology and tapestry were added to the fine art which gave an interesting dimension to the fair. Cahn gallery, for instance, one of this year's newcomers, presented a dazzling ensemble of archeology pieces like a Bared Torso of Aphrodite in marble from the 1st/2nd century before JC while Gilgamesh displayed some terracottas from the 5th century before Christ depicting scenes of women’s daily lives. Moreover, Galerie Chevalier selected two contemporary tapestries from Mathieu Ducournau to honor Rembrandt who died 350 years ago.
We were amazed to find Illustrious figures from the old master paintings among the booths; De Bayser gallery, for instance, displayed a Delacroix’s oil on canvas depicting a soldier of the Greek army fighting the Turks during the independence war. Nourished by the ideas of the French Revolution, the Greeks’ uprising against the Ottoman Empire began in 1821, a cause that will defend Delacroix in several highly noticed paintings. Among the beautiful old master paintings, we discovered the great artist and student of David, Sophie Cheradame at Galerie Jacques LEEGENHOEK. The Gallery Michel Desours also choose to present the paintings of a David’s student, the portraitist Marie Claude Dubuffe, very popular between the “Restauration” and the “Monarchie de Juillet” in France. Eventually, the Gallery CANESSO presented a great work of Mattia Preti; an important artist from 17th century in Italy whose style is inherited from the Caravagism.
Since its creation, Fine Arts Paris has been trying to highlight sculpture, whether it is represented by specialized merchants or mixed with painting and drawing. For instance, the Gallery Tresbosc + Van Lelyveld showed a marble by Gustave-Frédéric Michel, of which a model exists in plaster at the Museum of Art and Industry in Roubaix (La Piscine). The malaquais Gallery showcased the pre-war Parisian bohemian and Picasso’s friend, the Catalan sculptor Manolo (1872-1945). For modern painting, the well-known Galerie Tamenaga, first time participant at Fine Arts Paris, exposed an exceptional aquarelle from Raoul Duffy (1877-1953), transposing the famous scene of the ”Bal du moulin de la Galette ” painted by Renoir in 1876.
To end this non-exhaustive list of our journey at Fine Arts Paris, we would like to highlight the participation of La Piscine de Roubaix, the Andre Diligent Museum of Art and industry. The institution which transformed an ex-public swimming pool art deco style in Roubaix had a booth this year, showing an ensemble of ceramics, sculptures, textiles, and paintings. Among the works of Camille Claudel, Joseph Bernard, Marc Chagall, etc… we loved the futuristic reinterpretation of Rodin's Thinker by Paul Cornet (1892-1977).
Amid the new exhibitors, Charles Beddington sold a set of 5 watercolors by Jean-Baptiste Adanson while Chiale Fine Arts sold two delicate portraits by Giuseppe Maria Bonzanigo representing Louis XVIII and Marie Joséphine de Savoie. Tamenaga gallery sold Femme nue debout, an oil on canvas by Bernard Buffet from 1953 while a piece from Chagall is under process to be sold.
The Gallery Gilgamesh specialized in archeology, was reserved by institutions two important pieces, a rare torque (Celtic art, second half of the third century BC) and a horse bit (origin Iran, 800-650 BC) . The returning galleries were also very satisfied; among the numerous sales bellow are the results we knew about: Talabardon & Gautier sold to a British collector Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux’s terracotta of 1873 for €400,000 and a painting by Claude-Marie Dubuffe to the Grenoble Museum.
Mendes Gallery sold half of its stand including its major pieces at the opening, a charming oil on canvas by Edouard Vuillard for 1 million euros already shown in many exhibitions before. De Bayser Gallery, sold at the vernissage seven pieces, ranging from € 2,500 to € 120,000, including an oil and black pencil on canvas from Eugène Delacroix.
The Gallery Ratton Ladrière sold at the opening an oil on canvas by Francesco Soderini (1679-1739).
Galerie La Présidence sold a Pierre Bonnard delightful ink on paper, Scene de la rue, to a collector who will present it in a retrospective on the artist. The gallery sold, among other things, a set of 6 inks and watercolors on paper by André Derain entitled Au service Militaire, 2 watercolors by Signac and 2 watercolors by Henri-Edmond Cross.
Galerie Berès met new collector clients and sold 6 pieces including Crocus, 2013 a silver-tipped drawing on wove paper by Victor Koulbak, a contemporary artist whose works have seduced visitors. "One of the charms of this show is to meet real amateurs rather than investors," notes Florence Berès.
To conclude, Fine Arts Paris belongs to the fair making Paris the leading cultural capital in the world along with New York, London, Berlin and Madrid. Greatly supported by connaisseurs and institutions, Fine Arts Paris is the "rendez-vous" of art amateurs and “niche collectors”. We strongly advise you to assist the next edition this human size fair is full of treasures and we were amazed by the curation and its unique organisation!