1874 Draw!

What did people draw in 1874?

From March 19th to July 14th, 2024
Edgar Degas
Danseuse se grattant le dos, c. 1873-1874
Collection Musée d'Orsay - Département des Arts Graphiques du musée du Louvre, Paris
Achat en vente publique, 1919
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Adrien Didierjean
See the notice of the artwork
In parallel with the exhibition "Paris 1874, Inventing impressionism", and on the occasion of the Salon du dessin, the Musée d'Orsay is presenting an anthology of its most beautiful graphic artworks from 1874. In sanguine, charcoal, pastels, or watercolor, on colored paper or drafting film, on cardboard or the page of a notebook, this collection of works shows the new heights the art of drawing had reached in 1874.

Preparatory drawings for State commissions to decorate Parisian monuments, sketches for large compositions and easel paintings on display at the Salon, and landscapes from the 'plein air' school jotted down directly from the motif are all testament to the rich variety of artistic creation in 1874.

This exhibition reveals graphic masterpieces from Baudry, Puvis de Chavannes, Degas, Manet, and Pissarro, with some more unusual pieces, such as Boudin's charcoal sketches, taking us by surprise, and highlights certain gifted draftsmen who are little known today.

While these artists appropriated the drawing techniques and traditions of the old masters, they kept them alive solely in order to reinvent them with novel subjects and innovative materials.

This overview of the art of drawing tempers the supposed antagonism between the academic techniques associated with the École des Beaux-Arts and the art of the Impressionist painters.

  1. Monday Closed
  2. Tuesday 9.30am - 6.00pm
  3. Wednesday 9.30am - 6.00pm
  4. Thursday 9.30am - 9.45pm
  5. Friday 9.30am - 6.00pm
  6. Saturday 9.30am - 6.00pm
  7. Sunday 9.30am - 6.00pm
Musée d'Orsay
Cabinet d'arts graphiques
Salle 41, niveau 5
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Time slot full rate
Time slot reduced rate
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Nocturne rate
-18 year olds, -26 year old residents of the EEA