Paris Tableau, the event dedicated to Old Masters which was started by a group of specialist Parisian dealers in 2011, has relaunched in Brussels with an earlier date in the calendar.
The fair ran for five years every November at the Palais Brogniart in Paris until 2015, when the organisers announced that there would be no 2016 staging and instead the event would be incorporated into the Paris Biennale.
One year later, however, there was a change of tack. As the organisers explain: “After being a guest of the Biennale des Antiquaires at the Grand Palais in September 2016, Paris Tableau has decided to explore new horizons and turn towards the international stage.”
They go on to say that “for its first event abroad, its choice is Brussels”. This sixth edition is also scheduled five months earlier in the calendar, running from June 8-11.
The new location is the Patinoire Royal, a former royal skating rink in the Saint Gilles district, now used for exhibitions.
Twenty-two exhibitors feature in this latest edition. Several of them are original Paris Tableau stalwarts like Charles Beddington, Didier Aaron, Galerie Canesso and de Jonckheere. But they are also joined by newcomers such as Ana Chiclana from Madrid or Lullo-Pampoulides and Colnaghi from London.
While 11 of the participants hail from France, exhibitors from Spain, the UK, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands also feature and, not surprisingly given the location, three dealers from Belgium.
Together they will be offering visitors a rich mix of paintings from northern and southern Europe spanning the middle ages to the 19th century.
One feature of Paris Tableau has been its parallel focus on the scholarly side of Old Masters via its exhibitions and symposia.
For this latest edition in the Belgian capital, the spotlight will shine on Jacques-Louis David, who made Brussels his home and established a new studio after he was exiled there following the fall of Napoleon.
The exhibition, curated by Alain Jacobs, features around 20 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures on the upper gallery of the Patinoire.
Established by Maurizio Canesso in Paris in 1994, Galerie Canesso specialises in Italian Old Masters or works by foreign artists working in Italy spanning the 15th to 18th centuries and has shown at Paris Tableau since its inception.
Among the paintings the gallery is taking to the sixth edition will be this 4ft 3in x 5ft 10in (1.3 x 1.8m) late Baroque Roman oil on canvas of Saint Jerome by Ludovico Mazzanti, datable to the mid-1740s. It is priced at €160,000.
Gallery's Time has come
Among the Belgian exhibitors at Paris Tableau is Lowet de Wotrenge from Antwerp, a gallery that focuses on Dutch and Flemish paintings spanning the 16th-18th centuries.
This 16th century oil on canvas by the Antwerp painter Jacob de Backer and studio will be among the works shown at the Paris Tableau fair.
The large, 4ft 11in x 6ft (1.4 x 1.8m), canvas depicts The Burden of Age showing a man buckling under a weight of stones with the figure of Time adding more to his burden from a basket while Hope, identified by the attribute of an anchor, supports him.
The work can also be read as an allegory of the three ages of man with the central group flanked by two background vignettes: one showing a youth dressed in the same costume as the central figure being strapped to an empty basket by a female figure, the other depicting an old man relieved of his burden by a figure of Death.
The painting is priced at €130,000.
British gallery stands at Paris Tableau
Lullo-Pampoulides Fine Art, a gallery in London’s Cork Street, was established last year by long-term friends and art experts Andrea Lullo and Andreas Pampoulides, specialists in master paintings and sculpture.
The gallery stands at Paris Tableau for the first time this year. Asked why they had decided to take part in the Belgian fair, Pampoulides says: “We had a very strong debut at TEFAF Showcase and wanted to show at another good northern European fair to follow up new clients from the region that we met.”
He adds: “We also found that northern European, particularly Belgian, clients at TEFAF showed a very strong interest in Italian baroque paintings and sculpture which, despite our eclectic taste, remains the core of our business. So, showing at Brussels really felt like a logical next step.”
The works that are going to Brussels next week will also include a German Old Master: this recently discovered addition to the oeuvre of the 17th century artist Johann Heiss. The subject, The Fall of Phaeton, comes from Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
Its attribution (and dating to c.1680) is based on its many stylistic and compositional similarities with other works by Heiss, notably another Fall of Phaeton, signed and dated 1678, in the National Gallery of Prague and a painting depicting Vulcan surprising Venus and Mars in a bed before an assembly of the Gods, which is signed and dated 1679.
The Fall of Phaeton is priced in the region of €120,000.