Salon du Dessin

A view of this year’s Salon du Dessin at the Palais Brongniart. Image credit ©Tanguy de Montesson.

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Attendance by museum curators is an important feature of this fair, which concluded on March 25.

Many of the big institutions were in evidence making purchases. They included the Metropolitan in New York, the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Fogg Art Museum in Boston, the Museum of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the British Museum, the Harvard Museum, the Kunstmuseum in Basel, the Albertina in Vienna and the Kupferstich Kabinett in Hamburg.

There were 15,000 visitors (a 25% increase on last year) to view what the 39 exhibitors had brought to this long-running specialist Paris fair dedicated to works on paper with the usual packed opening.

Jean-Léon Gérôme drawing

Sales by the Galerie Ary Jan at the Salon du Dessin included this 6 x 10in (15.25 x 25.5cm) pencil portrait of Emir Amer Abdallah by Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824-1904), offered at around €50,000.

As usual there were sales from the outset, Galerie de La Présidence, which was paying tribute to Jean Hélion (1904-87) with seven works by the artist, sold a large drawing of a seated man to a collector at the opening for €58,000.

Jean Hélion drawing

A 4ft 2in x 2ft7in (128 x 80 cm) watercolour and ink portrait of a seated man by Jean Hélion (1904-87) signed and dated top right 2.10.47 sold by the Galerie de La Présidence at the Salon du Dessin for €58,000.

Stephen Ongpin Fine Art sold a black chalk and wash drawing by Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), Ruggiero with two young women on unicorns while Haboldt & Co sold a pen, ink and wash drawing by Abraham Bloemaert (1565-1651), The kingdom of Neptune.

Abraham Bloemaert drawing

The Kingdom of Neptune, a 5 x 8in (13 x 20cm) chalk, pen and ink and wash drawing with pink and white gouache highlights by Abraham Bloemaert (1565-1651) sold by Haboldt & Co at the opening of the Salon du Dessin.

Galerie de Bayser had a number of sales on opening day. They included a conté crayon preparatory study by Jean-François Millet (1814-75) for his painting of The Sower now in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, priced at €130,000 that went to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

Jean-François Millet drawing

A conté pencil preparatory study by Jean-François Millet (1814-75) for the painting of The Sower in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston sold by the Galerie De Bayser for €130,000 at the Salon du Dessin.

The gallery also sold a signed and dated pen, ink and wash drawing of skaters by the Flemish artist Hans Bol (1534-93). Providing evidence that exciting discoveries can still be uncovered, the Bol was one of a small group of pen and ink drawings on the gallery’s stand that had appeared last September at auction in Chartres, part of a collection discovered in a house in the Ile de France.

Hans Bol drawing

A pen, ink and wash drawing by Hans Bol (1534-93), a preparatory study for a gouache of skaters of the river Amstel, signed and dated lower right Hans Bol 1589, sold on opening day at the Salon du Dessin by the Galerie de Bayser.

As reported in ATG 2615, three works in this collection were described as being inscribed Hans Bol but catalogued more tentatively as Dutch and Flemish school and dated to the 17th century with estimates in the low four figures. However, they ended up selling for €110,000, €90,000 and €55,000 plus premium.

De Bayser had purchased two of the Bol inscribed drawings and researched them, not only confirming they were by Bol and signed but also identifying the works for which they were preparatory studies. The skating scene was a study for his gouache of skaters on the Amstel in Amsterdam that is in Munich and sold on the opening day of the Salon to an American museum.

Other galleries making notable sales included the Galerie Dina Vierny which sold seven works including a portrait in ink by Matisse (1869-1954) of Annelies Nelck that went to a new collector for a price between €100,000 and €150,000.

Henri Matisse drawing

This 20 x 15.75in (52.5 x 40 cm) ink on paper, Portrait of Annelies Nelck by Henri Matisse (1869-1954) signed H. Matisse and dated fev 44 (top left) priced between €100,000 and €150,000 was sold by the Galerie Dina Vierny at the Salon du Dessin.

The Galerie Terrades sold over nine items on the first day while Galerie Peronnet sold around 20 works, both old masters and works by Scandinavian artists including a portrait of a young man in pen and ink by Hélène Schjerfbeck (1862-1946) for around €50,000.

Galerie Alexis Pentcheff’s stand

The Galerie Alexis Pentcheff’s stand at the Salon du Dessin showing the display of works by Henri Martin. Image credit ©Tanguy de Montesson

Galerie Alexis Pentcheff from Marseilles had a focus on the artist Henri Martin (1860-1943) with 20 works on show that were preparatory studies from 1935 for the decoration of the main staircase of the town hall of 5th district of Paris. The gallery sold 12 of them for prices ranging from €1200 to €15,000 along with five works by Vuillard, two drawings by Dora Maar and watercolours by Henri Person and Emile Bernard.