But the decision to postpone this year’s edition due to the Covid crisis has resulted in an alternative to the usual presentation under the glass roof of the spacious Grand Palais.
Instead La Biennale Paris has joined forces with Christie’s to stage an online event with participating galleries selecting items for sale in an online auction running from September 24 to October 8
Over 90 works from 42 galleries will be offered in the auction. Like the fair itself, the sale is a mix of works from many disciplines including Old Masters, Impressionist and Modern paintings, antique furniture, jewellery, antiquities, tribal art and design.
Traditionally the Biennale has heralded the opening of the Paris autumn season, a busy time for the art world. This year’s rentrée has now begun with auctions underway in Paris and throughout France.
Pictured here is a taste of some of the events and individual items that will be on offer in Paris salerooms and the Drouot auction centre in September and October.
They range from a Jurassic era dinosaur and an 19th century court robe to an Art Deco perfume bottle inspired by the Chrysler building.
This Old Master panel painting of a young man wearing an oriental turban by the Dutch artist Cornelis Bisschop (1630-74) will be offered by the Hôtel des Ventes de Monte Carlo in its mixed discipline sale in Monaco on September 25-26.
The 23 x 16in (60 x 43cm) panel has a label from 1966 for Agnew and Sons and a provenance from Agnews to the collector and museum benefactor Sir Alfred Chester Beatty.
The estimate is €40,000-60,000.
This pink silk taffeta and gold and silver thread embroidered court robe and train from c.1828 will feature in the costume section of a sale titled La Vie Romantique to be held by Tessier Sarrou at Drouot on September 30. It has an estimate of €8000-12,000.
The elaborately embroidered and well-preserved robe is worked with carnations, wheat ears and other motifs. It has passed down by descent from Madame d’Hespel and according to family tradition probably belonged to the Duchesse de Berry, Marie-Caroline de Bourbon-Siciles (1798-1870).
A two-session auction of a single owner collection assembled from the late 19th century to the interwar period will be offered by Aguttes at Neuilly sur Seine on October 20 under the title La Mesure des Mondes.
The first session includes horology and a selection of musical and snuff boxes, silver, Japanese edged weapons and Chinese works of art. The second is given over to 51 lots of scientific instruments including this surveying instrument or graphometer by the 17th century Italian scientific instrument maker Giacomo Lusuergo.
The 12in (30cm) wide instrument, which is signed and dated Giacomo Lusuergo Modonese al Collegio Romano is contained in a tooled leather case. The estimate is €15,000-20,000.
This gold resin and patinated model of a carp, La carpe d’or, by François-Xavier Lalanne (1927-2008) will be offered in the auction of Design and Contemporary art to be staged by Binoche et Giquello at Drouot on October 2.
Designed in 1987, the 22in (56cm) long model, which is signed, monogrammed and numbered 53/250 as an Artcurial edition, has an estimate of €20,000-30,000.
A 33ft (10m) long allosaurus from the Upper Jurassic period highlights the Natural History sale to be held by Binoche et Giquello on October 13 at the Drouot auction centre.
The massive carnivorous dinosaur flourished predominantly in North America almost 150m years ago and this specimen, which was discovered in Wyoming in the USA in 2016, is thought to be one of the largest known examples. It has an estimate of €1m-1.2m.
This floor lamp from 1952 in white marble, brass and black and white lacquered metal is a rarity created by Vittoriano Vigano as Mod 1049 when he was artistic director of Arteluce in the 1950s. In the sale of Italian design held by Artcurial on September 28, it has an estimate of €25,000-35,000.
On October 9 Copages auction is holding a sale at Drouot devoted to perfume bottles from two private collections. Among the highlights is this Art Deco scent bottle designed by René Lalique for Lucien Lelong. Lalique’s design of the frosted glass and black lacquered bottle and its black lacquered case was inspired by the construction of the famous Chrysler building in New York in 1928. It has an estimate of €2000-4000.