Rightly considered the most important, both in number and in quality, the French collection contains a remarkable ensemble of drawings from the 17th and 18th centuries, with examples by Poussin, Le Brun, Boucher, Fragonard, Greuze and David. Thanks to François-Xavier Fabre, the museum also has his studio collection and an exemplary series of neoclassical drawings by his contemporaries (Gauffier, Hackert...). The 19th century collections were the gift of Alfred Bruyas, with examples by Millet, Barye and Delacroix.
The fine Italian collection, which owes its origins to Fabre, with some exceptional works by Raphael in particular, has recently been carefully restored.
The print collection, with 1000 items, was augmented in 1996 with some 300 contemporary pieces from the former Artothèque (including some framed large format works) which provide an interesting panorama of the second half of the 20th century (Asse, Cueco, Jaccard, Alechinski, Boisrond, Di Rosa, Kuroda…).
Several special rooms have been located around the museum to hold themed displays of prints and drawings. These are rolling exhibitions, as these very fragile items can only be displayed for a maximum of three months. All the works on paper held in the reserves are accessible to researchers by appointment.