Promenades on Paper: Eighteenth French Drawings from the Bibliothèque nationale de France
Esther Bell, Sarah Grandin, Corinne Le Bitouze, Anne Leonard (Eds)
Clark Art Institute, 2023
An illustrated exploration of the largely unpublished collection of eighteenth-century French drawings, albums, and sketchbooks at the Bibliothèque nationale de France.
Promenades on Paper explores the largely unmined collection of eighteenth-century drawings held in the Department of Prints and Photography of the Bibliothèque nationale de France. Among the 50 featured artists are some of France’s most celebrated eighteenth-century practitioners, including Madeleine Basseporte (1701–1780), François Boucher (1703–1770), Gabriel de Saint Aubin (1724–1780), and Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732–1806), alongside architects, designers, and printmakers. Scattered across the institution’s vast reserves, these drawings have until now served primarily documentary purposes. In this book, leading international scholars introduce more than 80 drawings, albums, and sketchbooks—many published here for the first time—and reveal how artists used drawing to record, critique, and try to improve the world around them.