Drawings by Frédéric Christophe de Houdetot [1797-1835]
   Presentation of the original collection

Specifications of the original collection

Heading Collection of drawings: "Amis et connaissances de 1797 à 1840". (Friends and acquaintances 1797 to 1840)
Dates 1797-1835
Produced by Houdetot, Frédéric Christophe de (1778-1859)
Volume of material

225 drawings in a bound collection of 45 leaves.

Classmark and location

200008, France, Bibliothèque et archives du Conseil d'Etat.

Outline of the contents This collection contains only portraits. During the year Houdetot was at the Conseil d'Etat (1806) he produced portraits of 36 members of the Conseil d'Etat. Most of the drawings are dated and their subject identified.
Comments on the description Brief inventory drawn up by N. Clot in 1999.

Detailed description

The collection of drawings by Frédéric Christophe de Houdetot is in the form of an album measuring 220x290 mm, bound in boards, dating from the beginning of the twentieth century. A printed label affixed to the flyleaf states that this album was put together in June 1904 by Susse Frères, 31, place de la Bourse, Passage des Panoramas, 7 et 8, Paris.

The 225 original drawings have been cut out, pasted to the front of each leaf of the album in approximate chronological order and numbered 1 to 225. The number of drawings per page varies according to their size.

This album is particularly valuable because the majority of the drawings are dated and give the name of the place where they were done and the name of their subject.

In the absence of any other corroboration in the album, the coincidence in the dates and locations of the drawings with Houdetot's life and administrative career - reflecting his youth in Sannois, his move to ordinary service at the Conseil d'Etat in 1806 then his missions in Europe -lends authenticity to the assertion that the drawings are by F. C. Houdetot.
Frédéric Christophe de Houdetot's sketches are mainly in pencil, with pen-and-ink used for portraits made in sittings. The drawings which use more elaborate techniques such as coloured paper, chalk or charcoal highlighting, are rarer.

Background to the conservation and acquisition of the collection

This album of drawings appeared at a public sale in Vendôme on 31 May, 1987, and was obtained by the Ministère de la Culture for the Bibliothèque du Conseil d'Etat through pre-emption.

This pre-emption was made at the proposal of Maître André Damien, conseiller d'Etat, who had been informed of the sale by Maître Rouillac, auctioneer. This album of drawings was part of the collection of J. B. Debret, a pupil of David, dispersed in two auctions in 1987.

It is possible that the album had been in this family collection since it was made. Another collection of "humorous caricatures and philosophical thoughts dated 1837 with comments and dialogues beneath the drawings", undoubtedly by Houdetot, was sold to a private buyer. The album was presented to the public for the first time at the exhibition "Le Conseil d'Etat au cœur de la société française" which was held at the Archives Nationales from December 1999 to March 2000.

Terms of access and use.

The digitised collection can be seen in its entirety on this site.
The original is consequently no longer available to the public for reasons of conservation. Reproduction of documents belonging to the State is subject to authorisation and certain conditions.
Apply in writing to:
M. le conservateur de la Bibliothèque
Bibliothèque du Conseil d'Etat
Place du Palais Royal
75 100 Paris SP
A microfilm of the collection has been produced by the department of prints of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.