Christian Béalu, director of the gallery JM Béalu & Fils
Founded more than half a century ago, Galerie JM Béalu & Fils exhibits in its gallery located in the heart of the capital, at 3 rue du Bac in the Carré Rive Gauche, mainly collectible ceramics from Europe to the East, from the 15th to the 18th century, and more particularly majolica and Meissen or Sèvres porcelain.
Christian Béalu, expert, member of the C.N.E.S. (Chambre Nationale des Experts Spécialisés en oeuvres d'art) also presents furniture and artwork from the
Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI periods.
To begin with, could you describe your background?
A classic career as an antique dealer, I quickly specialized in ceramics especially Far Eastern ceramics and Chinese porcelain. I have always liked the decorative aspect of the Compagnie des Indes.
Can you describe your gallery?
The gallery is located in Paris in the Carré Rive Gauche. Founded in 1952 by my mother, it is made up of three salons. You will find there collectable ceramics: majolica, earthenware and porcelain from Europe and the Far East, as well as furniture and objets d'art mainly from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.
Galerie JM Béalu & Fils, 3 rue du Bac 75007 Paris
A landmark object?
We currently have several key items in Chinese porcelain: a rare "Pompadour" bowl and display stand from the Qianlong period (1736-1795), a series of six Green Family vases from the Kangxi period (1662-1722), and plates with grisaille decoration inspired by European engravings.
Was there a particular work of art that stood out for you during your career?
I had, about 30 years ago, a rare pair of Japanese porcelain Shi-shi (fabulous lions) mounted in gilt bronze in France in the early 18th century that I sold to a French collector. I was lucky enough to get them a second time last year and this time they went into a European collection.
Arita, Edo period, Genroku era (1688-1704), ca. 1670-1690, late 17th century.
Your latest artistic crush?
A pair of large Chinese porcelain statuettes of women in court dress holding a vase with Pink Family decoration, called "Magu". They are goddesses of youth and longevity, inspired by the Bejin of Japan.
Your favorite museum?
I discovered the Compagnie des Indes museum in Lorient during a professional internship. The museum was later a partner of the Ceramic Trail in 2019 ; the participants presented works from the museum during the event and I have very fond memories of it.
Qianlong period (1736-1795). H. 35 cm.
The last exhibition that stood out for you?
Exhibitions that have focused on the exchanges between Europe, the Middle East and China. The last one that comes to mind is the one at the Guimet Museum relating the exchanges with Portugal.
Could we know more about your projects?
Always looking for exceptional objects, the pleasure of research. To promote ceramics and the arts of fire to the general public.
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