Colin Gleadell looks at the Contemporary art dealing of an Old Masters firm. Jean-Luc Baroni and his daughter Novella bought a Lucian Freud drawing for £2.6m in 2011, a price that seemed to squeeze out any potential upside for a dealer who knew the market let alone one dabbling in Contemporary. But the wily Old Master’s dealer showed that clients follow dealers they trust more than categories these days.
Probably better known for handling Old Masters, the Baronis were giving notice that modern art was their field, too, so long as the quality was right. But could they re-sell a Freud drawing at that price level?
The answer is yes, because at the Salon du Dessin, the drawings fair in Paris this month, Baroni offered the drawing at £3.3 million, and sold it.
Record prices for Grosvenor artists at print auction (Bloomsbury)