Organized from the rich holdings of the Snite Museum’s permanent collection, this exhibition presents about 60 works illustrating the history of French drawing from before the foundation of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1648, through the French Revolution of 1789 and its subsequent reforms of the 1800s.

The drawings offer visitors an opportunity to explore the range of media employed, including chalk, colored chalks, ink, and crayon; a variety of favored subjects, such as narrative compositions, portraits, landscapes, and genre scenes; and types of drawings from figure and drapery studies, quick sketches of initial ideas to complex, multi-figured, highly developed, compositional “machines.”

Significant artists of the 17th and 18th centuries whose works are included in the exhibit are Simon Vouet, Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, Honoré Fragonard and Jean-Baptiste Greuze. Drawings by later renowned artists such as Pierre-Paul Prud’hon and Anne-Louis Girodet of the late 18th/early 19th century; Honoré Daumier and Théodore Rousseau of the 19th century; and Edgar Degas, whose long career spanned from the 19th into the early 20th century, signal the transition into the modern era that glorified the individual and the local.

On Sunday, September 11, the Snite Museum of Art will hold a public reception from 2:00 to 4:00 pm. Margaret Morgan Grasselli, curator of Old Master Drawings at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., will present a lecture at 2 pm in the Annenberg Auditorium. Dr. Grasselli will survey the trajectory of French drawings from 1600 to 1900 focusing on their style and production.

For more information call 574.631.4435 or visit

The Snite Museum of Art, University of Notre Dame

The Snite Museum of Art is located on the campus of the University of Notre Dame, near South Bend, Indiana. Museum hours are 10 am to 4 pm, Tuesday and Wednesday; 10 am to 5 pm Thursday through Saturday; and Sundays 1 pm to 5 pm. Admission is free. Museum information is available at 574.631.5466 or at the Museum’s website: Driving directions and parking information are available at Find us also at and

The Snite Museum of Art provides opportunities to enjoy, respond to, learn from, and be inspired by original works of art. As an integral unit of the University of Notre Dame, the Museum supports teaching and research; furthers faith-based initiatives for greater internal diversity and service to the external community; and reflects the traditions and values of the University.

Last modified on 23/08/2011

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