« I always approach artworks with the same passionate and critical eye that allows me to recognise the potential of each one and to defend them at their fair value on the market. »
— Grégoire Lacroix
One department, an infinite number of pieces
Old Master Paintings and Drawings represent an absolutely fascinating sector of the art market. Since the 19th century, Paris has been internationally recognised as one of the most dynamic auction centres for old paintings.
At the heart of this, the Old Master Paintings market is proving to be curious and fond of works of remarkable provenance. By keeping pace with international art market events such as the Semaine du Dessin in Paris, the Salon Fine Arts, the major events at the Hôtel Drouot or the Old Masters Weeks of our Anglo-Saxon neighbours, our sales of old paintings and drawings in Paris attract the attention of the greatest collectors of this speciality.
Among their buyers, a multitude of profiles: from the amateur to the collector, from the investor to the art lover, but also from the merchant to the museums and other cultural institutions, all of them share the wish to see and have works that have stood the test of time. We are committed to creating the widest possible public interest in our works of art, which are of great value because they have been noticed and appreciated. Museums, moreover, do not hesitate to regularly use their right of pre-emption.
Painting: major art in the spotlight
Since its creation, Aguttes has auctioned many works of importance not only to the market, but also to the history of art. Among them, a Vierge à l’Enfant avec saint Georges et un ange by Bernardino Luini, a particularly important pupil of Leonardo da Vinci, sold for €2,300,400; an extraordinary tempera on panel by the Venetians Antonio Vivarini and Giovanni d’Alemagna, depicting an Annunciation, sold for €896,800. A rediscovered portrait of Marie-Antoinette by Joseph-Siffred Duplessis and his workshop, which was preempted by the Musée de Versailles at €175,500, and an exceptional Nature morte à la coupe de fraises by a female painter, Louyse Moillon, which went under the hammer at €1,682,000, confirming the popularity of old paintings.
Under the direction of Grégoire Lacroix, specialist and director of the department, three catalogued sales and three online sales are organised each year, all of which benefit from a public exhibition and fine adjudication. Paintings and drawings from the Italian, French and Nordic schools are lots that delight art lovers and collectors who discover with obvious pleasure historical and mythological subjects, as well as portraits and still lifes, representing in a multitude of works all the genres that the Royal Academy classified in 1667.
« The value of a work goes beyond the quotation expressed in international databases. It varies according to its rarity on the private market, its subject, and its quality of execution which make it a testimony to an era or an artistic movement. I always approach the works with an eye that is both passionate and critical, which allows me to recognise the potential of each work and to defend them at their fair value on the market. »
— Grégoire Lacroix
Each painting, each drawing, each lot is carefully examined and directed towards the most appropriate sale. Our catalogues are documented and written to highlight your works. Our entire team, composed of passionate specialists, is at your service and actively participates in the valuation of your objects through expert appraisals in conjunction with recognised scientists and academics. As soon as the work is presented to our experts, a dialogue is established with you in order to define the best strategy to adopt in order to sell it in the most appropriate way. This may involve restoration campaigns or the promotion of the objects to a clientele that is particularly targeted for the occasion.
The Ancient Drawing: original witness of the creative intention
« Over the past 10 years, the market for old drawings has exploded. This speciality, initially considered very confidential, has found a place of honour in Paris, where events and sales bring together eminent specialists, researchers and museum curators, as well as enthusiasts from around the world. These masterpieces on paper will continue to fascinate us as they spontaneously reveal the artistic impulse of their creators. »
— Grégoire Lacroix
Our sales of old drawings stamped “l’Esprit Créateur” present graphic works by great masters such as: Tiepolo, Lemoyne, Greuze, Géricault, Delacroix as well as many artists of the French, Italian, Dutch and Flemish Schools.
Their provenance and importance attracted a large public of private collectors, French and foreign, and institutions, and produced remarkable results, such as a double scene by Dirk Crabeth representing a Jugement dernier and an Adam et Eve, pen and brown ink on paper, which sold for €106,860, or a drawing by the Bolognese master of the 17th century, Le Guerchin, which fetched €83,200 on several bids.
From expertise to adjudication, an individualised service
Our team, made up of passionate specialists and auctioneers, works with high standards to enhance the value of your works of art, in conjunction with recognised scientists and academics, in order to provide them with a rigorous and meticulous free expertise.
Our catalogues, which promote your works and our know-how, are carefully written and documented to capture the growing interest of the curious and passionate in search of fine purchases.
Continually on the lookout for new works or a beautiful collection to discover, we come to meet you in the main cities of France, and we also organise for our clients valuation days in our representative offices in Paris, Lyon, Brussels and Aix-en-Provence.
For auctions of old paintings and drawings, the valuation work can start at a distance at first. It is therefore strongly recommended that you send us an e-mail or letter to this effect, giving your contact details and enclosing photos of the work, its reverse side and details of the signature, if any.
Please also indicate the size and origin of the work. Of course, in a second phase, it will be essential to examine the works “in person” in order to appreciate the quality, the technique, the state of conservation, to propose the fairest price and to integrate it in a catalogue. Do not hesitate to contact us, we remain at your disposal for any further information.
The media coverage…
Extensive targeted advertising is carried out before each sale, for each lot, on the appropriate platforms and in the specialist media. Communication is a very important part of our mission, and it is this that enables us to gain the trust of the world’s leading buyers who participate passionately in our sales. At some of our auctions, it is not uncommon to have almost 50% foreign bidders.
« Près de 900 000 euros pour une « Annonciation » du Quattrocento vénitien chez Aguttes » – The Art Newspaper. Click here
« Un portrait de Marie-Antoinette préempté par le château de Versailles » – The Art Newspaper. Click here
« Un portrait de Marie-Antoinette longtemps disparu passera sous le marteau le 25 novembre » – Rtbf.be. Click here
« À Neuilly, un portrait de Marie-Antoinette disparu depuis plus de 100 ans pourrait faire décoller les enchères » – Le Parisien. Click here
« Record aux enchères pour Louyse Moillon » – The Art Newspaper. Click here
« Nouveau record pour Louyse Moillon » – Le Quotidien de l’Art. Click here