The Magnins acquired the majority of their drawings later than their paintings, perhaps when they first had the idea to create a museum. Their main objective was the same as for the paintings: to reflect the varied range of artistic movements from the 16th to the 18th centuries in Italy and Germany, from the 17th to 19th centuries in Great Britain, Spain, and above all France, focusing more on the continuity than on the upheavals. The Magnins did not leave any records of their project, it is clear that their ai was to form collections of drawings with the intention of exhibiting them on the same basis as the other artworks. As if to underline this, many artists are represented in both painting and drawing, as we can see from: Le Sueur, La Hyre, Bardin, Hoin, Drolling, Alexandre-Bouveret, Galland, Lairesse, Mengs and many others.
The Italian section contains some beautiful drawings such as the study of the Cavalier d'Arpin, the portrait from memory by Leoni, the study sheet of the Siena artist Casolano, and a Fuite en Egypte [Flight into Egypt] by the Neapolitan artist Corenzio. Among the English drawings are some interesting studies by Füssli, Cotes and particularly Wilkie.
The Franch section has a rich collection of over four hundred drawings. Those from the 17th century, although less stunning than the paintngs, include notable works by Courtois, Bourdon and La Fage, an unusual artist who devoted himself exclusively to graphic arts. However, the 18th century is better represented by drawings then paintings, with the late works of Greuze and Boucher, studies by Natoire, Vien, Challe and Vincent dating from their stay in Rome, Gamelin, Carle van Loo, Pierre, Boisieu and Lallemand (La Place Royale de Dijon).
The Neo-Classical period around 1800 is a strong point in the collection: an exemplary study by David for La Mort de Socrate [The Death of Socrates] is found alongside works by Berthélémy, Auguste, Moitte, Drouais, Meynier and Bertin.
Several sheets confirm the Magnins' taste for the Romantic period, from the Ingres - influenced work of Blaze to Delacroix, from Johannot to Alexandre - Evariste Fragonard. The collection also includes some beautiful 19th century landscapes such as those by Cabat, Vollon and Cicéri. A portrait by Wicar, Girodet's Paysage au Serpent [Landscape with a Snake] and Bracquemond's Les Vanneaux [Lapwings] are some of the most beautiful sheets.
The collection also includes around thirty high quality engravings.