Treasures of the Fondation Custodia | 1

The Bacler d’Albe dossier

The new series of videos Treasures of the Fondation Custodia highlights works from the Fondation’s collections, presented by its curators and librarians.

Among the treasures of the Fondation Custodia, curator Laurence Lhinares has chosen to present a dossier devoted to Louis Albert Guislain Bacler d’Albe (1761-1824), Napoleon’s cartographer.

This dossier, purchased by the Fondation Custodia in 1999, was put together by Louis Philippe Joseph Girod de Vienney, Baron de Trémont. A former state councillor and prefect of the Empire, he had a collection of autographs considered to be one of the most important of the period.

The dossier consists primarily of a letter dated 1 October 1808, written by Bacler d’Albe and addressed to Dominique Vivant Denon (1747-1825), then director of the musée du Louvre. In it, Bacler d’Albe mentions his painting Napoleon I visiting the bivouacs on the eve of the battle of Austerlitz.

Alongside this letter, the dossier contains an engraved portrait of Bacler d’Albe by Godefroy Engelmann, after Charles-Étienne Le Guay, as well as a small drawing (7 × 11 cm) in Bacler d’Albe’s hand, which is very different from the other graphic works we know of the painter.

Treasures of the Fondation Custodia 1 | The Bacler d’Albe dossier