How the Collection was Formed

The "Cabinet des Dessins", created in 1671 thanks to the acquisition of the collection of Everard Jabach, and which currently contains more than 130,000 items, has never left the Louvre. It was subsequently supplemented by the inestimable fund of drawings by Charles Le Brun, Pierre Mignard and Antoine Coypel.

The purchase in 1775 of some 1,000 drawings and albums sold by Pierre-Jean Mariette, which are today considered to be amongst the chefs-d'oeuvre of the Louvre, demonstrates the growing importance, throughout the XVIIIth century, of the demands of collectors in this sphere. The fund has grown continuously since, through purchases and gifts, in particular those of Etienne Moreau-Nélaton in 1927 and Baron Arthur Chassériau in 1934.

The beautiful collection of Baron Edmond de Rothschild, offered to the Louvre in 1935, is also worthy of mention. Filling an entire amateur's exhibition room itself, it contains more than 40,000 engravings, close on 3,000 drawings and 500 illustrated books.

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