Promenades on Paper


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Eighteenth-Century French Drawings from the Bibliotheque nationale de France

Edited by Esther Bell, Sarah Grandin, Corinne Le Bitouze, and Anne Leonard; With essays by Corinne Le Bitouze and Pauline Chougnet, Charlotte Guichard, and Meredith Martin

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An illustrated exploration of the largely unpublished collection of eighteenth-century French drawings, albums, and sketchbooks at the Bibliothèque nationale de France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.

Distributed for the Clark Art Institute

Exhibition Schedule:

Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA
(December 17, 2022–March 12, 2023)

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours
(May 12–August 28, 2023)

Esther Bell is the Robert and Martha Berman Lipp Chief Curator, Sarah Grandin is the Clark-Getty Curatorial Fellow, and Anne Leonard is the Manton Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs, all at the Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA. Corinne Le Bitouzé is the conservateur général, adjoint au directeur du Département des estampes et de la photographie at the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Paris.


Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA
(December 17, 2022–March 12, 2023)

Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours
(May 12–August 28, 2023)

ISBN: 9780300266931
Publication Date: January 3, 2023
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Clark Art Institute
272 pages, 9 1/4 x 10 3/4
200 color + b/w illus.

The Body, The Senses

Edited by Esther Bell and George T. M.

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