The 17th century paintings displayed in the museum rooms almost all come from the bequest (and the back interest on this bequest) from Auguste Dutuit (1812-1902) to the City of Paris.
This bequest consists of all the collections built up by Auguste and his brother Eugène (1807-1886). In these collections of antiques, mediaeval and Renaissance art objects, 18th century paintings, books, drawings and prints (kept in the Graphic Arts Room), 17th century Dutch art takes pride of place.
Thanks to them, the Petit Palais possesses one of the leading collections of Dutch painting in France, second only to the Louvre. This reflects at once the taste of the collectors and that of the century they lived in, giving priority to the landscapes and genre scenes that greatly inspired French painting in their day.