We often forget that in the 19th century and up until the Second World War, Paris was the global epicentre of artistic life. The beating heart of the art trade was the Hôtel Drouot and its various annexes, which were both an Ali Baba’s cave of ancient and modern art and an extraordinary social melting pot. It sold contemporary paintings, Degas, Picasso and Picabia. Old masters were rescued from oblivion, as was the case with Vermeer. It was a turbulent mix of not only art visionaries, but also marriageable daughters, semi-mundanes and small dealers. They shamelessly manipulated quotations, tying the fate of masters who now belong to posterity.
Through ten extraordinary stories, Judith Benhamou reveals little-known aspects of art and the art market. From Van Dyck to Louise Bourgeois, from Eugène Delacroix to Vincent van Gogh, from Paul Eluard to Marcel Duchamp, this book takes us on a no-holds-barred journey through the history of art, illustrated by masterpieces that were once auctioned off in the red rooms of the auction house.
ISBN : 9782080428080