Drawings enthusiasts gathered in Paris this week for the 19th annual Salon du dessin, The Drawings Fair, held in the former Stock Exchange building, the historic Palais de la Bourse, in the heart of the 2nd Arrondissement. 39 exhibitors from Europe and the United States presented the finest in original drawings in pencil, ink, pastel and other mediums from Old Masters through Contemporary.
This is always an elegant show and the vernissage saw a chic crowd of invited guests sipping champagne and surveying the other attendees as much as the works on display. And there was a lot to see, in both cases!
From the moment the fair opened until it closed at 10 PM there was a crush of people in the aisles and in the booths. Beside seeing a lot of people I knew, I enjoyed exploring the stands and found many beautiful works for sale.
Some of my favorite pieces include a delicate pen and ink drawing of owls by Giovanni Tiepolo (1727-1804) on the stand of De Bayser, Paris. Another pen and ink drawing, this one of "La Tour de Saint-Rombault-deMalines", 1850, was done by Victor Hugo who is probably best known to Americans as the writer of "Les Miserables", could be seen on the stand of Arturo Cuéllar, Zurich. Steven Ongpin Fine Art, London, featured a hand-written letter from Edouard Manet to his friend Albert Hecht in 1879 decorated with watercolors of plums and cherries, and Talabardon & Gautier, Paris, had a lovely pastel drawing of pansies by Odilon Redon (1840-1916) that was marked "sold" almost immediately. Regular readers of my blog know that Sonia Delaunay is one of my favorite artists and can imagine my delight in finding the original gouache for a print that I own made for her album "Ses Peintures, ses objets, ses tissus simultanées, ses modes", a collection of 20 pochoir colored plates done for the famous Art Deco exhibition of 1925, on the stand of Galerie Antoine Laurentin, Paris.
The 2010 Salon du dessin has been, by most accounts, both a critical and financial success which is good news for art lovers everywhere, but especially for those of us who look forward each year to the chance to see first rate examples of this rather intimate art form under the crown of the Palais de la Bourse.