It is organised by the same team of dealers that each spring mounts the longstanding dedicated works on paper fair the Salon du Dessin.
Billed as the fair reviving the fine arts, the dealer Louis de Bayser, who is president of the organising committee, outlines the philosophy as one “conceived as a fair of specialities on the same model as the Salon du Dessin, an intimate event bringing together major international dealers, leading exponents in their field, with others who have a strong personality and personal taste.
“The Canesso, Brame & Lorenceau or Aaron galleries rub shoulders with l’Horizon Chimerique and the Charvet gallery as well as more niche dealerships that you rarely see at other fairs but which offer a very personal stock.”
Timewise the fair is staged in the slot that was occupied by the specialist paintings fair Paris Tableau which from 2011-15 was also organised by the same group at the Palais Brongniart.
November is a period of high activity in the Paris market with plenty of auctions including sales of Old Masters.
There are 46 exhibitors for Fine Arts Paris’ third staging, the majority from France (principally Paris) but with around 10 participants from the US, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Monaco and the UK. Ten of the exhibitors are taking part for the first time – two of them, Charles Beddington and Rafael Valls, from London.
Fine art (painting and works on paper as well as sculpture) is the mainstay of this event and the range is broad, from the early Italian gold ground works at Giovanni Sarti to those from the late 20th century.
This is the second year that the fair has been held at the Carrousel du Louvre exhibition space having moved from its former location at the Palais Brongniart, the old Bourse building.
The change was because, as de Bayser explains, the space at the palais was too limited with no possibility to expand.
“From the first year exhibitors were asking for more stand space,” he says, adding that “the change of venue has been very beneficial. Showing at the Carrousel du Louvre has allowed us to welcome more exhibitors. As a matter of fact we have been fully booked from June onwards.”
New categories this year are antiquities – courtesy of two specialist dealers, Galerie Gilgamesh from Paris and Cahn International from Basel – and tapestries from the Paris dealership Galerie Chevalier.
Will Fine Arts Paris be planning to cover all sectors of the market in future?
“Why not?” says de Bayser. “We will think it over, but for the time being we will focus on sectors that are related such as antiquities, which resonates with antique and Modern sculpture, and equally tapestry with Modern art.”
This year’s loan exhibition comes from La Piscine-Musée d’art et d’Industrie André Diligent in Roubaix in northern France, a fine and applied arts museum housed in a converted Art Deco former swimming pool.
Like the Salon du Dessin, the fair links up with various museum events and activities staged across Paris. The focus this year is on special behind-the-scenes visits showing how changes in display can revitalise presentation.
Further details of specific events are available on the website below.
Valls makes debut
London Old Master dealer Rafael Valls is showing for the first time at Fine Arts Paris. The firm’s Toby Campbell says: “We decided to do this fair because we only had one fair to show at (TEFAF Maastricht) and we felt we needed further exposure outside the UK. Having enjoyed successful fairs at Tableau in Paris in November we were sad when this was absorbed by the Biennale.
“When the opportunity of Fine Arts Paris came up we jumped at it. It is a wonderful time of year to be in Paris and to be able to take part in a vibrant and fascinating fair with such a breadth of collectable material.”
Among the works the gallery will show is the small 8¾ x13in (22 x 33cm) oil on board pictured top by the Catalan artist Joaquin Sorolla Y Bastida (1863-1923). Showing boats and fishermen on the beach of Valencia, it will be priced at £300,000.
Also new to Fine Arts Paris this year is Paris tapestry specialist Galerie Chevalier. This Louis XIV period work from the Royal Beauvais factory titled Le Dromadaire (above) is one of the antique works that it is showing. The 13ft 1in (4m) wide x 9ft (2.75m) high weaving is priced around €120,000.
The gallery will also bring a 3ft 3in (1m) square Contemporary embroidery by the artist Mathieu Ducornau (b.1963) based on a Rembrandt self-portrait. Created in homage to the Old Master on the 350th anniversary of his death, this is priced €14,000-18,000.