Scott Reyburn reports from the Old Master drawings jamboree, Salon du Dessin:
This year, the best included an early 16th-century black chalk study of a kneeling Mary Magdalene by the Florentine High Renaissance artist Fra Bartolomeo. The drawing, a preparatory sketch for an altarpiece still in situ in the church of San Marco in Florence, had been in an English private collection since 1980. It was sold by the London-based dealers Bellinger-Colnaghi to a European collector for just over $1 million during the early hours of the Salon.
An early 19th-century Eugène Delacroix pen-and-ink study of cats’ heads and a male figure was another early sale, bought by a Swiss collector for 28,000 euros, or $38,550, at the booth of the Paris-based dealer Nathalie Motte Masselink, one of 39 dealers exhibiting at the fair.
“The people who come here are just passionate about drawings,” said Ms. Motte Masselink, who named the French movie star Alain Delon among the field’s varied enthusiasts. “There aren’t limits between those who collect contemporary and those who collect Old Masters. And with drawings, you can still make discoveries.”
To prove the point, the Paris dealership Talabardon & Gautier offered a pen-and-ink drawing of St. Paul and other figures, which it had recently identified as the work of the 17th-century artist Anthony van Dyck. Bought at a regional French auction eight months ago, the study was sold to an American museum for €250,000.
On the Art Fair Carousel (NYTimes.com)