Dessins français de la collection Mariette



Dessins français de la collection Mariette

Past: November 10, 2011 → February 6, 2012

Pierre Jean Mariette (1694–1774) brought together one of the most fascinating collections in the whole of the eighteenth century, with drawings taking pride of place (around ten thousand sheets).

Masterpieces by great artists stood alongside pieces of bravura by minor masters, in line with the encyclopedic commitment of this “genius jack-of-all-trades.”

10  rigaud etude de mains medium
Hyacinthe Rigaud, Etude de mains, 0 Département des Arts graphiques, musée du Louvre © 2009 Musée du Louvre / Suzanne Nagy

A collection of this caliber seemed destined to join those of king and nation. This was the wish of both Mariette and the administration—but, as sometimes happens, the heirs decided otherwise. The auctioning-off lasted for no less than two and a half months, during which time nearly one thousand drawings were nonetheless purchased for the king’s cabinet.

Pierre Rosenberg, of the French Academy, President emeritus of the Musée du Louvre, assisted by Laure Barthélemy-Labeeuw, rose to the dizzying challenge of reconstructing this legendary collection by scouring public and private collections the world over to track down drawings that had once belonged to Mariette. On the occasion of the publication of two initial volumes listing nearly four thousand French drawings, the Musée du Louvre is presenting the survey’s methodological basis and its main findings. On display are around one hundred works, some famous and some recently identified, which went from the collector’s to the museum’s portfolios.

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Palais royal, musée du Louvre

75001 Paris

Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 9 AM – 6 PM
Late night on Wednesday, Friday until 9:30 PM
Lundi, jeudi, samedi, dimanche : fermeture des salles à partir de 17h30

Admission fee

Full rate €17.00

D’octobre à mars : le premier dimanche de chaque mois, l’accès aux collections permanentes est gratuit pour tous.

The artists

  • Pierre Jean Mariette
  • Hyacinthe Rigaud