Cultural events

17th century French drawings. Collections from the Department of Prints and Photographs


  • Charles Le Brun (1619-1690), a young man facing left - chalk, heightened with white chalk | BnF, Prints and Photography

    Charles Le Brun (1619-1690), a young man facing left - chalk, heightened with white chalk

  • Practical information

  • Richelieu

    Tuesday – Saturday
    10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
    Sunday: closed (Vigipirate)
    Closed Mondays and public holidays

    Full price: 9 €
    Reduced price: 7 €

    2 exhibitions
    Full price: 14 €
    Reduced price: 9 €

    FNAC Reservation: 0892 684 694 (0,34 €/mn all taxes included) and at

from March 18, 2014 to June 15, 2014 Richelieu / Galerie Mansart

The inventory of the 17th century French drawings kept at the Reserve of the Prints Department – 580 pieces classified under the B mark dedicated to master drawings -  has recently been published online. On this occasion, the BnF presents a selection of 100 sheets from this collection in spring 2014.

The Department was created in 1667 when the Michel de Marolles collection was offered to the King; it houses an outstanding set of drawings the major part of which were mixed with prints. These pieces, collected thanks to acquisitions or successive donations, add to a major deposit made by the Bibliothèque Sainte-Geneviève and the Arsenal Library in the 19th century. The collection of the Department’s Reserve is very original because sheets by famous masters present in French public collections are next to numerous drawings connected with prints. All genres, sometimes little known, are dealt with: funeral arrangements, architectural projects, triumphant entries, almanac illustrations, satirical pictures or these ‘modes’ (fashion figures), so successful under the reign of Louis the 14th.

This exhibition is an opportunity to compare prints and their drawings, whether it be projects by engravers or compositions confided to other artists to be transformed in prints. Most of the drawings have never been presented before; they were made by about forty artists, from the reign of Henry the 4th to the death of Louis the 14th. From Martin Fréminet to Jacques Callot, Simon Vouet and Charles Le Brun, a major element of the exhibition thanks to an outstanding set of studies covering the whole career of the First Painter to the King. This chronological presentation of both painters’ and engravers’ drawings allows to discover the richness of the arts scene in Paris during the Grand Siècle and the constant renewal of its inspiration and expression.

Exhibition presented in the framework of the Semaine du dessin organized by the Salon du dessin, 26-31 March, Palais Brongniart, Place de la Bourse, 75002 Paris.

Visites guidées


Visites guidées le mardi et le jeudi à 16h
sur réservation au 01 53 79 49 49 ou
Prix d'entrée de l'exposition +3 €

Accompagnement pédagogique

Accompagnement de l’exposition Scolaires
– visites guidées enseignants, visites guidées pour les classes de collège et lycée
– visites libres pour les classes guidées par l’enseignant
– stages enseignants intégrant une visite de l’exposition sur
– fiches pédagogiques téléchargeables pour les classes de primaire collège et lycée sur etiTunes U > BnF

Tuesday, December 24, 2013