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Screen Shot 2015 11 11 at 19.43.47German School, early 18th Century 'The World Turn’d Upside Down' - Oil on canvas: 75 x 45 in. (190.5 x 114.3 cm.) Painted early 1700s - The Weiss Gallery, London -  Price 120,000 Euros

The 5th edition of Paris Tableau is currently being held in the Palais Brongniart (formerly known as the Bourse) from 11-15 November. Because why wouldn’t you have an old masters art fair in a palace? The exhibition is impeccably organized and lit, with little moments of joy everywhere. Every one of the 25 exhibitors brought a masterpiece. Or two. Or twelve. And for those of us inured to the telephone numbers of modern art prices, Old Master prices come as a pleasant surprise – well, mostly.

Screen Shot 2015 11 11 at 18.53.03Image Courtesy - Paris Tableau

I arrived at the beginning of the press opening – just in time to watch the first red dots being put up. Exhibitors love this fair. Daisy Prevost-Marilhacy with the London/Geneva gallery, de Jonckheere, is one of the founding members, and said their collector base has grown year to  year. Music to the ears of art fair exhibitors worldwide. They also brought some of the more expensive – and wonderful - paintings I saw. The absolutely luminous Van Kessel still life, crammed with fruits and flowers in Dresden china bowls was priced at 550,000 Euros – monkeys included.

Screen Shot 2015 11 11 at 18.36.32Jan van Kessel the Younger 1654 Anvers-Madrid 1708 Corbeille et Plats de fruits avec deux singes Oil on copper - De Jonckheer -  Price 550,000 Euros

Although this year is a little complicated for Russian collectors (echoed by many other exhibitors) and there are no Chinese clients..or Chinese pictures.. the number of international (European) collectors and American museums more than makes up for it, and several exhibitors brought pictures specially designed for the museum trade. One of those would be the painting of Notre-Dame of Guadalupe, painted around 1755 by Mexican artist Miguel Cabrera, shown by Galerie Terrads and priced at 120,000 Euros. Although they had not seen any Mexican collectors at the fair, they had no doubt it would go to an American museum, and curators were already out and looking.

Screen Shot 2015 11 11 at 19.51.57Paris Tableau Press View - Author's own Image

Galerie Canesso from Paris had an oil of Archangel Michael, by the Venetian Antonio Pellegrini . An early 18th century painter, known widely for his work in English country houses , it could be yours for 55,000 Euros. A lovely – large – (122 x 84.5) oil on wood painting by the Renaissance artist Marco Pino – represented in the Getty, The Athenaeum and the Louvre – would set you back 110,000 Euros at Porcini from Naples. Prefer animals? A wonderful Jacques Barband painting , a French 18th century picture of two cocks fighting over hen could be yours for 140,000 Euros, at Galerie Jean-francois Heim in Basle.

Perhaps your taste runs to prefer historical portraits – a specialty of the Weiss Gallery from Jermyn Street in London. Frans Pourbus le Jeune a Flemish painter, was represented by a spectacular portrait of Margurite de Gonzague, duchess of Lorraine, painted in 1606, and it too can be yours.

Not to forget the picture frames. Because what goes better with a 17th century picture than a 17th century picture frame. In wood. Gilded by hand. With lapis inserts. All works of art in their own right.

One of the joys of this fair is the feeling of wandering in a private museum. Interested in that Harpignes painting from 1861 at Stoppenbach & Dellestre? Well, yes I am. And they were happy to talk to me about it, take it off the wall, show me the back, tell me about the artist and where it was painted and what else was happening in 1861….an experience I found in stand after stand.

Paris Tableau

11-15 November 2015

11 AM-8 PM

Nocturne Thursday, 12 November, until 10 PM

Paalais Brongniart, Paris 75002

Tickets 15 Euros (including catalogue, while available)

Screen Shot 2015 11 14 at 20.15.56

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* Paris Biennale des Antiquaires: Biennale no more