Fondation Custodia

Nineteenth-century French Drawings

from 8 October 2022 to 8 January 2023

Opening hours: every day except Monday, from 12 to 6 pm


The Fondation Custodia presents an anthology of 19th-century French drawings from its collections. This exhibition features works by major artists of French art (Ingres, Delacroix, Corot, Rosa Bonheur) and also showcases talents that were famous in their time, but are somewhat forgotten today (Achille Benouville, Eugène Buttura, Lionel Le Couteux) or completely unknown (Caroline de Fontenay, Charles Eustache).

Jean-François Millet (1814–1875), Young Gleaner, between 1851 and 1853
Black conté crayon, 310 × 155 mm
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 3018

Although the 19th-century collection initiated by Frits Lugt (1884–1970) was at first made up of significant individual sheets (Millet’s Young Gleaner, Ribot’s Portrait of Victor Hugo on his Deathbed), the Fondation Custodia then set about developing it along several lines.

In particular, it focused on landscapes and thus brought together some remarkable ensembles of drawings made from nature in Italy or France (Achille-Etna Michallon, François Marius Granet, Louis Français, Louis Cabat). Some sheets bear witness to the naturalist studies of the Barbizon school (the spectacular Chêne de la Reine Blanche by Rousseau!), or to the more classical ones of mid-century painters (Jean Pierre Monseret, Théophile Chauvel). This group includes some outstanding compositions by Alphonse Legros and Jean-Baptiste Clésinger. The Fondation Custodia has also favoured direct recordings of nature by watercolourists, as well as artists such as Eugène Isabey and Johan Barthold Jongkind. It has acquired some striking portraits (Antoine Berjon, Ingres, Louis Lamothe, Charles Milcendeau) and studies for famous compositions (Gérôme).

They are presented chronologically, highlighting in turn the importance of natural observation at the beginning of the century (Michel Mandevare, Jean Antoine Constantin), the variety of techniques, the romantic spirit, the realism of the Parisian scene (Auguste Péquénot, Gabriel Prieur), the freshness of tones of the watercolourists (Paul Huet, Henri Harpignies), the inventiveness and poetry of the artists of the middle of the century (Gavarni, Doré) and the lyrical impressions of the most modern (Pierre Prins, Auguste Cabuzel).

Gustave Doré (1832–1883), View of the Forest at Westbridge, 1879
Watercolour and gouache over graphite, 744 × 625 mm
Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 1987-T.9

For many visitors, it will be a rediscovery of 19th-century draughtsmen whose names have faded over time.

Nearly 150 works on display, chosen from the 1800 or so sheets in the Fondation Custodia’s 19th-century holdings (including sketchbooks), reflect the high quality of this collection, which is eclectic and coherent, and reflects the tastes of its founder.

The exhibition is accompanied by a printed catalogue. It also coincides with the online publication of the Fondation Custodia’s entire collection of nineteenth-century French drawings:

Selection of Works

  • Antoine Berjon (1754 – 1843), Portrait of a Man in Profile
    Black chalk and white chalk on blue-grey paper. – 354 × 285 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 2013-T.2
  • Caroline de Fontenay (1807 – 1853), The Touques River near Trouville, 1842
    Pen and brown ink, watercolour and gouache. – 289 × 239 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 2006-T.23
  • Théodore Rousseau (1812 – 1867), The Oak of the Reine Blanche, circa 1860
    Charcoal, heightened with white chalk on prepared canvas. – 1180 × 888 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 1995-T.5
  • Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780 – 1867), Portrait of Julie Forestier, 1806
    Graphite, heightened with watercolour and white gouache on wove paper. – 90 × 72 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 2004-T.32
  • Lionel Le Couteux (1847 – 1909), Rocky Coast by the Sea
    Black chalk heightened with white chalk on grey-green paper. – 393 × 524 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 1992-T.24
  • Eugène Isabey (1803 – 1886), View of a Village on the Normandy Coast
    Watercolour, gouache, point of the brush and black ink over black chalk. – 257 × 350 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 1993-T.7
  • Attributed to François Marius Granet (1775 – 1849), Terrace in Castellar, 1846
    Watercolour over a sketch in graphite. – 165 × 241 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 2022-T.71
  • Achille Benouville (1815 – 1891), View of Lake Nemi with the Town of Genzano in the Background
    Watercolour, gouache, black chalk and pen and brown ink. – 375 × 567 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 2010-T.6
  • Rosa Bonheur (1822 – 1899 Thomery), The Marshes
    Watercolour. – 244 × 384 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 2019-T.52
  • James Tissot (1836 – 1902), The Cloakroom, circa 1885
    Graphite. – 339 × 426 mm
    Fondation Custodia, Collection Frits Lugt, Paris, inv. 2019-T.25


Dessins français du XIXe siècle. Fondation Custodia

Rhea Sylvia Blok, Antoine Cortes, Marie-Noëlle Grison, Maud Guichané, Laurence Lhinares, Ger Luijten, Marie-Claire Nathan and Juliette Parmentier-Courreau
Paris, Fondation Custodia, 2022
351 pages, ca. 145 colour illustrations, 24,5 × 27,5 cm, hardcover
ISBN 978 2 958 323 42 4
€ 40,00

To order this book, please fill out the form below. You will receive an invoice by e-mail, including package and postage fees. Payments can be made by bank transfer.

The information supplied by you through this form is collected by the Fondation Custodia in order to process your order. In accordance with the law Informatique et Libertés of 6 January 1978, modified, and with the Règlement Général sur la Protection des Données, you have the legal right to access your data, to rectify them, to restrict them, to transfer them or to suppress them. In order to exercise these rights, you can contact the Fondation Custodia, 121 rue de Lille, 75007 Paris, +33 (0)1 47 05 75 19, To find out more about our Privacy Policy.


Practical Information


Fondation Custodia / Collection Frits Lugt
121, rue de Lille - 75007 Paris
Tel: +33 (0)1 47 05 75 19

Access by public transport

Metro: Assemblée Nationale (line 12) or Invalides (lines 8 and 13)
RER C: Invalides or Musée d’Orsay
Bus: lines 63, 73, 83, 84, 94, Assemblée Nationale
Vélib’: station opposite (n° 7009)

Opening hours

Every day except Monday, from 12 to 6 pm

The Fondation Custodia is closed on 25 December and 1 January

Admission charges

10 € (full)
7 € (reduced)
The reduced rate is available to seniors (over 60), unemployed people, Amis du Louvre, groups of at least 10 people

Free admission: students, press card, ICOM card, disabled person’s card, Vereniging Rembrandt members

No online reservations


Possibility to visit the exhibition Nineteenth-century French Drawings with a conference guide on the following dates (in French): Wednesday 9 November 2022 at 12.30 pm, Saturday 19 November at 12.30 pm, Tuesday 29 November at 12.30 pm, Saturday 3 December at 12.30 pm, Wednesday 14 December at 12.30 pm.
Admission: price of the exhibition ticket
Reservation required:

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