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Christian and Isabelle Adrien’s collection was the object of an exhibition at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Rennes in 2012, accompanied by a detailed catalogue with contributions from specialists in their fields.

Nearly 80 drawings are on offer on March 22 spanning the 15th-17th centuries from the Italian, French, Dutch and Flemish schools. They include works by such well-known names as Rubens, Poussin, Boucher and the Carraci.

Attractive provenances

Several also come with attractive provenances, such as that of Pierre-Jean Mariette, the French art historian and dealer, and the painter Thomas Lawrence.

What is also notable is the range of medium and techniques encompassed in the collection demonstrating the enormous flexibility of the drawing.

Sotheby’s Adrien collection will be followed on the same day by a mixed owner works on paper auction.