Paris’s Salon du Dessin is an art lover’s dream. A boutique fair featuring just 39 exhibitors, the drawings on show are not just any drawings – they are the cream of Old Master, modern and contemporary works, and their quality and rarity attract the world’s most important collectors and museum curators.
Highlights of this year’s event, which runs from March 22-27 at the Palais Brongniart, include Marcel Duchamp’s Jeune Femme au Corset à Ruban Bleu (1912, €150,000), a loose, striking pencil and Chinese ink sketch with a dash of colour, on sale with Hélène Bailly Gallery; Gustave Moreau’s delicate 1886 pencil, watercolour and gouache on paper fantasy, The Persian Poet (€500,000-€600,000), at Galerie Talabardon & Gautier; and the Renaissance drawing Head of a Bearded Man (€500,000) by Hans Baldung Grien, a depiction of a strong-featured, contemplative figure that renowned London dealer Jean-Luc Baroni has kept back especially for Salon du Dessin. Late works by Pablo Picasso and Joan Miró will also be available (prices yet to be announced), and for the first time Chinese artists will be represented, by Hadrien de Montferrand Gallery.
“This is the best fair in the world,” says Baroni. “It has the best-informed public and its mission is to increase connoisseurship rather than offer immediate satisfaction.” That said, it’s hard not to gain satisfaction from some of the pieces on show, and the immediacy of a drawing itself often takes the viewer closer to the artists and their techniques.
Further evidence of the importance of the Salon du Dessin is its influence on museums: seven will open up their collections specifically to coincide with the five-day show. These include the Domaine de Chantilly, the Château de Fontainebleau and the Musée National Picasso-Paris – even more of a reason to make the trip to Paris.
For more upcoming exhibitions, click here.