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A “Brush” With History

July 14, 2023
painting of place de la Republique in paris with people,horses and carts in street

Place de la Republique

As many of you know, we specialize in the works by Antoine Blanchard (born Marcel Masson, 1910 – 1988), the renowned artist known for his exquisite Parisian street scenes. When we first started selling works by Blanchard, we noticed that 1 out of every 8 to 10 paintings found in the market are actually by “The Antoine Blanchard.” Thus, we began a research project focused on his life and work. We wanted to ‘clean up’ the market so people would be aware of the authenticity of the pieces they were purchasing; our research enabled us to create the Antoine Blanchard Catalogue Raisonné. We are now considered the experts on Blanchard and receive submissions for paintings to be authenticated almost daily. Unfortunately, for many, the authentications will not be in their future.

Blanchard captured the essence of Paris in a unique and captivating way; let’s just say he had a “brush” with history! Though he was mainly a painter of the postwar era, he could transport himself back in time and capture the essence of Paris during the Belle Époque. His works showcase the bustling streets of Paris, the picturesque boulevards, the iconic landmarks, and the everyday life of its residents.

Over the years, the value of Antoine Blanchard’s paintings has steadily increased. The demand for his works, particularly those depicting well-known Parisian locations such as the Champs-Élysées or the Moulin Rouge, has contributed to their market desirability.

Many people believe that buying at auction can save you money compared to purchasing from a reputable gallery. However, this may not always be the case. At a recent auction, a typical 13 x 18-inch painting by Blanchard featuring the Arc de Triomphe sold for $10,625. However, the painting needed to be re-framed and required cleaning, which could cost an additional $1,500 or more, and do not forget the shipping costs. In June, a painting depicting Place de la Concorde sold for over $13K and also needed additional work before it was ready to be hung. When you buy from a gallery, everything is already taken care of — the painting is ready to be enjoyed.