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 aim was to form collections of drawings with the intention of exhibiting them on the same basis as the other artworks. Many artists are represented in both painting and drawing: Le Sueur, La Hyre, Bardin, Hoin, Drolling, Dagnan-Bouveret, Galland, Lairesse, Mengs and many others.
The Italian section contains some beautiful drawings such as the study of the Cavalier d'Arpin, 2 portraits from memory by Leoni, the study sheet of the Siena artist Casolani, and a Flight into Egypt by the Neapolitan artist Belisario Corenzio. Among the English drawings are some interesting studies by Füssli, Cotes and particularly Wilkie.
The French section has a rich collection of over 400 drawings. Those from the 17th century, although less stunning than the paintings, 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 than 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, de Boissieu and Lallemand (The Royal Square of Dijon).
The Neo-Classical period around 1800 is a strong point in the collection: an exemplary study by David for The Death of Socrates is found alongside works by Berthélemy, Auguste, Moitte, Drouais, Meynier and Bertin.
Several sheets confirm the Magnins' taste for the Romantic period, from Ingres - influenced work of Blaze to Delacroix, from Johannot to Alexandre - to Évariste Fragonard. The collection also includes some beautiful 19th century landscapes such as those by Cabat, Vollon and Cicéri. A portrait by Wicar, Girodet's Landscape with a Snake and Bracquemond's Lapwings are some of the most beautiful sheets.
The collection also includes around 30 high quality prints.