The Edmond de Rothschild collection contains a rich collection of 1,644 drawings of festive costumes (balls, ballads, ballets, masquerades and musical tragedies) collected in France during the reigns of François I to Louis XIV.
Acquired by the Baron at the end of the 19th century, they constitute an extraordinary collection for understanding the world of entertainment under the Ancien Régime.
The last son of Jacob James (1792-1868) and Betty de Rothschild (1805-1886), Edmond appeared in 1873 as the family's first patron of French museums. His donations were made over a long period of time to several institutions in Paris (Louvre Museum, Carnavalet Museum, Galliera Museum and Petit Palais Museum).
Edmond was particularly involved in enriching the collections of the Louvre Museum, as shown by the very important collection of drawings and engravings from the 14th to the 18th century, of which he was a perfect connoisseur, bequeathed to this institution in 1935. His plan to create a museum of engraving within the Louvre was never realised (Torres, 2016), but the Edmond de Rothschild collection is still an important part of the Department of Graphic Arts, which was created in 1989 by combining the Cabinet des dessins and the Chalcographie.
The exhibition highlights around one hundred of the most beautiful works from this exclusive collection, which will also be described work by work in the inventory of the Graphic Arts Department.