THIS year an extensive selection of drawings-related auctions takes place timed around the Salon du Dessin and Drawing Now fairs. The international and independent rooms and the members of Drouot are all embracing the concept wholeheartedly, and some blue-chip names and consignments should tempt the collectors.
Artcurial, a longstanding supporter of the ‘drawings week sale’, has two sessions this year each celebrating famous French precursors of the late 18th early/19th century French Romanticism: Barons Gros and Gérard.
The auction house starts on March 22 with the 150-lot Gaston Delestre collection. Delestre was Gros’ first biographer and over half the sale is devoted to works on paper by the artist, making it the largest ensemble of Gros’ work outside the Louvre’s graphic arts department.
Among the highlights is an 8 x 11in (20 x 28cm) pen and wash drawing of Bucephale Dompté par Alexandre which is guided at €30,000-50,000.
Northern Old Masters and works by 18th and 19th century French artists make up the remainder of the Delestre collection.
The following day the auctioneers’ sale of Old Master and 19th century drawings and paintings kicks off with 10 drawings that have come from the collection of Baron Gérard and passed down through the family. They are a mix of drawings by Gérard himself and portraits of him by other artists, including a tiny profile rendition by the young Anne Louis Girodet Troison estimated at €15,000-20,000. The highlight is an elaborate gouache and watercolour preparatory study by Gérard for his canvas The coronation of Charles X in Rheims guided at €60,000-80,000.
Drawings by Boucher and Watteau from the collection of the celebrated amateur d’art Georges Dormeuil and other major French and Italian names feature among the remaining works on paper section of the sale.