Il Caravaggio, the auction and the collector…


#PARIS The show event, as hoped, did not take place. On Thursday 27th, the Halle aux Grains in Toulouse was to host the sale of a Caravaggio fortuitously found in a nearby attic, and undoubtedly the most awaited and most media-friendly sale in recent years.

The painting, recently exhibited and staged in a hyper-contemporary composition as a counterpoint to a piece by Daniel Buren at the Kamel Mennour Gallery, set the tone and scale of this sale phenomenon in a “clair obscur” installation.

Marc Labarbe, auctioneer, Master of Ceremony of the event and who had to crack down with his hammer, had seen things in big things: some 2000 seats, a platform for the press and a broadcast of the live auction to raise the bids and the temperature (if necessary during this hot period).

However, on Tuesday 25th, a laconic “for immediate release” fell into our mailboxes. The sale would not take place.
Not because it is a fake and the pot-aux-roses is discovered, as we had begun to hope for this dramatic turn of events after the Louvre’s abandonment to acquire it and prevent the departure of this “masterpiece” abroad.
But because the sale was made by mutual agreement for an amount kept secret (but which the sellers could not resist) by a renowned collector and close to a great museum, whose name was again kept silent…
The painting has therefore found a buyer and this non-sale show is already being used as a teaser for its next exhibition in one of these new museums that are growing like mushrooms all over Asia or the Middle East (post-oil is not only a prospective study angle on the benches of business schools).
Perhaps it will also reappear in an American museum? There too, we are fond of Caravaggio, which seems to have produced so little (there are only 65 referenced tables) but which makes the crowds move.
The recent exhibition “Il Caravaggio in Rome, friends and enemies” at the Jacquemart-André Museum in Paris had ranked this somewhat outdated museum with its gildings and crimson curtains on the windows, in the top ten Hype museums to discover in Paris in the trendy guides.

Lili Tisseyre

Journalist then production director, Lili Tisseyre directed the creation and editorial management of the first web content for the Endemol group’s Real Tv show in the early 2000s. Holder of a...

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