As March draws to a close and almost as soon as the art world returns from TEFAF Maastricht, attention turns to the medium of drawing and works on paper courtesy of the Semaine du Dessin, or Drawings Week, in Paris.
This focus on works on paper has grown up around the Salon du Dessin, the French capital’s dedicated fair for drawings and works on paper. Now in its 28th year, running from March 27-April 1, this is a magnet for dealers, collectors and museum curators.
These days, though, many other activities circle around this longstanding core event and add to the pull for the drawing aficionado.
A series of auctions across the Paris salerooms is timed to coincide with the fair and there is a younger sibling to the Salon.
Drawing Now, devoted to contemporary work, is staging its 12th edition at the Carreau du Temple from March 28- 31 (drawingnowartfair.com).
Paris museums and institutions also recognise the pre-eminence of the art of the drawing at this point in the calendar by mounting a raft of their own special events centred around their current graphic-related exhibitions.
Salon du Dessin
An international roster of 39 exhibitors will be gathering at the Palais Brogniart for the latest edition of the well-regarded Salon du Dessin.
Four are new faces (Christopher Bishop from the US; Galerie Grand-Rue from Geneva; Galerie José de la Mano from Madrid and the Lancz Gallery from Brussels), two are returning after an absence and the remainder are Salon regulars.
The visitor can expect the usual pan-European range of works spanning the Renaissance to the 20th century plus the Salon’s two-day symposium devoted this year to Drawing and the Performing Arts and several loan exhibitions.
Exhibitor Martin Moeller is this year focusing on work from his own country with his display 100 years of German Drawings which will include this delicate natural history study of two sides of a starfish by the 18th century artist, Franz Anton von Scheidel (1731-1801). The 14 x 20in (36 x 52cm) watercolour over pencil on paper, with a pen and ink inscription, is priced at €23,000 (pictured above).
Onno Van Seggelen Fine Arts
Onno Van Seggelen Fine Arts from Rotterdam will be taking this 6 x 9½in (15 x 24.5cm) pencil and grey wash image of late summer Fruit Harvest (September), above, by the 17th century Dutch artist Herman Saftleven (1609-85). Signed with initials and dated 1670, it has a provenance to Johan Goll van Franckenstein and is priced at €55,000.
For its inaugural appearance at the Salon, exhibitor Lanzc Gallery is taking this distinctive work by the Belgian artist Léon Spilliaert (1881-1946).
Titled The Glass Roof, the Indian ink, brush and coloured pencil on paper shows the space that served as the artist’s studio from a dramatic angle. The large 2ft 1in x 20in (64 x 50cm) composition, signed and dated 09 upper left, is priced at €1m.