The graphic arts

The musée des Beaux-Arts graphic arts collection contains nearly 25,000 works from the 16th to the 21st Century.

Consisting of drawings and etchings, books and notebooks, the collection includes major ensembles by Lorraine artists such as Jacques Callot(1592-1635), Jean-Ignace-Isidore Gérard, known as Grandville (1803-1847), the Jules brothers (1833-1898) and Léon Voirin (1833-1887), Émile Friant (1863-1932), Paul-Émile Colin (1867-1949) and Étienne Cournault (1891-1948).

In addition to these ensembles there are several hundred French, Italian and Northern School drawings from the 16th to the 20th Century produced by Guerchin, François Boucher, Jean-Antoine Watteau, Anne Vallayer-Coster, Eugène Delacroix, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, etc.

In 1894, the donation from Albert Boidin, executor of the will of Armand Grandville, son of the artist, brought in over 1,400 drawings by the Lorraine caricaturist and illustrator. Then, in 1932, the Émile Friant bequest  left the musée des Beaux-Arts de Nancy with the largest collection of works by the painter (over 1,900 works, drawings, etchings and paintings). In 1936, a further collection of over 200 Japanese etchings was added via a bequest from the industrialist Charles Cartier-Bresson (1936). Finally, in 1940, Nancy City Council acquired the collection of Jules Lieure (1866-1940), a great specialist in Jacques Callot, consisting of over 1,400 items, including 700 original etchings by the great Lorraine engraver.

In 1999, through the generosity of the great art historian Jacques Thuillier and his brother Guy, the collection was enlarged quite spectacularly in terms of both the number and quality of the items donated. Some 2,500 drawings and 12,500 etchings from the 16th Century to the modern day were added to the Nancy collections. They consist of works from foreign schools and French works, with a particular focus on the 17th and 19th Centuries (Nicolas Poussin, Claude Mellan, Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Auguste Lepère). There are also a few 20th Century works (Avigdor Arikha, Jules Chadel, Bernard Naudin, Pierre Guastalla, Roger de la Fresnaye, Aristide Maillol, Germaine Richier and Erik Desmazières, along with a large set of drawings by Robert Pougheon).

Recent purchases made with the help of partners, donations and bequests have been added to this collection, with works by artists from both past (Watteau) and present, such as Joël Kermarrec and Étienne Pressager (Guts and intestines no. 4, 2013).

A modern graphic arts department was created in 2001 to accommodate researchers who wish to consult the works, by prior appointment.