The old graphic arts room:
This collection boasts some 12,000 engravings and more than 1,000 old drawings from the Dutuit bequest. Of the two donor brothers, the elder, Eugène, was the first to develop a very sure taste for bibliophily, prints and drawings by the masters covering the period from the 5th to the 18th century. With his brother Auguste, he firmly believed that an artist should be represented simultaneously by his paintings, drawings and engravings, the most striking example being Rembrandt, not forgetting masters such as Ruisdael, Fragonard and Hubert Robert.
The Northern schools dominate the field of engraving, with Schongauer’s complete works, works by Dürer, Lucas de Leyde and in pride of place, Rembrandt. The Petit Palais holds more than 350 fine works in addition to a dozen drawings by this undisputed master of the etching. Artist-painters, draughtsman and engravers such as A. van de Velde, A. van Ostade, A. van Everdingen and N. Berchem, among others, represent the Dutch Golden Age.
In the 12th century field, the portraiture skills of the Flemish painter Van Dyck (The Iconography) can be admired both in the medium of engraving and drawing.
The Italian school offers a rare selection of 15th century niellos, some fine works by Mantegna and Pollaiolo and an almost complete collection of works by Stefano della Bella and Raimondi, “Raphael’s engraver”.
The French school of the 17th century is represented by a fine collection of works by Claude Gellée and some beautiful examples of engraved portraits by Nanteuil and Morin. The great names of French 18th century – Fragonard, Debucourt, Watteau, Gabriel de Saint-Aubin – are present in engravings and drawings.
These collections are kept in storage on account of their fragile condition. Temporary exhibitions are organised around these holdings, enabling the general public to admire their quality and richness. Researchers can enter the conservation area by appointment.