Content of the study:
The art dealer and gallery market - France

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1.1 Definition and scope of study

The art market refers to the production of and trade of works of art and antiques. The art dealer and gallery market focuses on art dealers, which accounted for 58% of global art sales in 2019, and therefore excludes auctions (42% of global sales) which are the subject of another study.

According to Wondeur AI's classification, the production of works of art is divided between the star artists (1% of artists in the world), the renowned artists (1%), the established artists(14%) and the emerging and under-represented artists (84%).

The art market can also be segmented by category of work (sculpture, painting etc.), by period (contemporary, modern etc.) and by price range.

Global art dealer sales were worth US$36.8 billion in 2019, a slight increase of 2% over 2018. However, players with sales of less than $1 million experienced a sharp decline (- 9%) in contrast to those with sales between $250,000 and $500,000 (+ 17%).

The biggest challenges for the next 5 years cited by art dealers in 2019 will be to find new customers and to deal with the economic environment and geopolitical issues that strongly influence the demand for art.

In 2019, art dealer and gallery sales accounted for nearly two thirds of French art sales . The French art market is characterized by its high stability . The current economic situation also favours galleries and art dealers, who are considered more secure than auctions. The specific features of the French market, which is less speculative, more fragmented and diversified, also play in its favour. Thus, in 2020, 65% of art dealers and gallery owners expect their sales to remain stable or increase over the next five years. 

In addition, the digitalization of the market accelerated during the containment due to the Covid-19 outbreak. This digitisation is not only manifested by the emergence of online galleries and platforms such as Singulart, Kazoart or Artsper, but also by the growing influence of online information tools and social networks such as Instagram.

1.2 The global market

In **** global sales of art and antiques were valued at **.* billion dollars, shrinking **% from the previous year and **% from ****. As mentioned above, the auction of art accounts for around **% of this market, meaning that the subjects of this study, art dealers and galleries, account for the remaining **% [***]. The market for art ...

1.3 The French market

France is considered by many as the cultural capital of the world. Therefore, it may be surprising that (***) France only holds around *% of the global art market, in terms of value, making it the fourth-largest market in the world [***].

Major art markets World, ****-****, in billions of dollars Source: ****

As we ...

1.4 Imports & exports

Using the United Nations Comtrade database, we can observe and analyse global trade flows. The market under consideration is categorised under the following code:

** - Works of art; collectors' pieces and antiques

These are the type of commodities that are bought and sold by art dealers and galleries. The figures ...

1.5 Impact of COVID-19

Globally speaking, the COVID-** pandemic had rather negative impact on the market for art dealers and galleries, decreasing by **% from **** to reach a value of around ** billion dollars [***]. This is due to the enforced closures mandated by governments worldwide and the incompatibility by definition between the nature of the virus (***) due ...


2.1 Who buys art ?

There are two important trends to consider in the world of art which shape the dynamics of the market:

It is a globally integrated market (***) It is highly concentrated and correlated with global wealth (***)

Due to these two factors, there is often a similarity between global trends and more localised trends ...

2.2 Artistic preferences: contemporary, modern & ancient

Evidently, people who buy artwork and antiques in France appreciate contemporary art. In fact, more than two thirds of art galleries in France sell exclusively contemporary pieces of art, with the total proportion of galleries that sell contemporary art rising to almost more than eight in ten when considering galleries that ...

2.3 Preferences in authorship, dead or alive, French or foreign

While, as mentioned above, the majority of galleries are contemporary art galleries, deceased artists are not forgotten and are represented by contemporary, modern and antique art galleries. 

 Only **% of galleries exclusively represent living artists. Representing and selling (***)energising the market of deceased artists is not a risk-free activity, but the ...

2.4 New trends in demand: the advent of online sales

Despite a significant decrease in global art sales, online art sales doubles in value from **** to reach a record high of **.* billion dollars [***]. Online sales accounted for *% of total sales in ****, compared to **% in ****, marking the first time that the market share of e-commerce exceeded that of general retail.

When speaking ...


3.1 Different sized galleries

Art galleries and dealerships can be very small, nice, family run businesses that specialise in one artist or type of art, or they can be high-end luxurious behemoths that cater to all artistic desire. The case is no different in France. In fact, in **** there were galleries that had revenues inferior ...

3.2 Primary and secondary markets

The primary market is when an artwork is presented in a gallery or at a fair for the first time. Thus, the price of the work is set for the first time. In more technical terms, a designer, jeweller or artist sets the price with the gallery owner or dealer based ...

3.3 Employment

Generally speaking, it seems that almost three in four French galleries are small enterprises, with four employees or fewer. Only one in twenty galleries employs more than ten people. 

Breakdown in dealer and galleries, by number of employees France, ****, in % Source: ****

Galleries with only one location have few staff, with **% of ...

3.4 Galleries and the digital world

In ****, more than one in four French galleries started updating, improving and modernising their websites. This is a clear impact of the pandemic as more and more business started to move online (***). Almost **% of French are planning to update their websites within the next two years.

Breakdown of art galleries planning ...


4.1 Age and geography

The average French art gallery is ** years old. Almost six in ten galleries are under ** years old, with only **% of them being over ** years old.

Breakdown of art galleries, by age France, ****, in % Source: ****

An overwhelming majority (***) establishment is.

  Breakdown of the location of the second establishment of art galleries, ...

4.2 Expenses for art galleries

On average, galleries estimate that expenses encompass between **% and **% of their total revenues [***]. The graph below the different areas of expenses and the proportion of their revenues which galleries spend on them.

Breakdown in expenses for art galleries, by type of expense (***) France, ****, in % of galleries Source: CPGA  To clarify, **% of ...

4.3 Sales

As mentioned above, more than **% of art purchases are completed by individuals. It is interesting to analyse to whom art galleries sell art to. Half of galleries in France sell to businesses and museums. One fifth of galleries sell to FRAC (***).

Main buyers of art from art galleries (***), by type France, ...

4.4 Priorities and outlooks for the future

The thing that three quarters of French art galleries are looking forward to in the future is the return of art fairs and trade shows. Two thirds also consider client and collector relationships and networking among their priorities for the future. Issues such as environmental responsibility and the search for new ...


5.1 International regulations

Property looted during the Second World War is internationally prohibited from sale and must be returned to its owners or rightful claimants [***]. 

In ****, as part of the fight against the financing of terrorism, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution **** which prohibits trade in goods "illegally removed from Iraq since * August **** and ...

5.2 French regulations

Since the law of ** November ****, there is no time limit on the handling of stolen works of art.

The French Ministry of Culture annually releases a Deontological Code for Art Galleries. This document

This reference tool makes it possible to enhance and secure the profession of gallery owner and its professional ...


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The performing arts market - France

Publicado en 22/11/2022 by Aurelien Hoppley

Étude de marché pertinente.

The performing arts market - France

Publicado en 22/09/2022 by Anais Reteux

Etude généraliste mais très bien réalisée du marché du spectacle vivant dont on trouve assez peu d'analyse aussi complète.

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A good overview of the market that doesn't neglect new market developments and at an affordable price. I am interested in a more in-depth study of new trends and players.

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