Bouchot, Henri

Full Name: 
Bouchot, Henri
Other Names: 
Henri Bouchot
Year Born: 
1849
Year Died: 
1906
Place Born: 
Beure, Doubs, France
Place Died: 
Paris, France
Home Country: 
France
Overview: 
Curator of the Print Room, Bibliothèque nationale. After the death of his father, in 1859, Bouchot's mother and sister moved with him to Tilleroyes, near Besançon, where he later attended the Collège Saint-François-Xavier. He served in the army during the Franco-Prussian war. In 1874 he was admitted at the École des Chartes, where he obtained the diploma of archivist-paleographer. He began, in 1879, a lifelong career at the Print room of the Bibliothèque nationale, as an intern under Henri Delaborde. His catalog, Les Portraits aux crayons des XVIe et XVIIe siècles, conservés à la Bibliothèque nationale was published in 1884. He rose to deputy librarian in 1885, the year of his marriage to Claire Chevalier. His important overview of the history of the book appeared in 1886. It soon was translated and enlarged by Edward Clements Bigmore (1838?-1899). A new revision was edited by H. Grevel in 1890. With Georges Duplessis (1834-1899), curator of the Print Room since 1885, Bouchot co- authored the Dictionnaire des marques et monogrammes de graveurs (1886-1887). In 1889 his study on the French printmaker Jacques Callot (ca 1593-1635) appeared. In 1892 the Académie des Beaux-Arts awarded him the Prix Bordin for his biographical study, Les Clouet et Corneille de Lyon d'après des documents inédits. He rose from librarian to deputy curator of the Print room in 1898, under Duplessis. A year later, in 1899, he was elected associated correspondent member of the Académie des sciences, belles-lettres et arts de Besançon. For his active involvement in the Exposition universelle he was awarded the medal of chevalier of the Legion of Honor (1900). He succeeded Duplessis as curator of the Print Room in 1902. Bouchot had a special interest in the origins of early wood engraving. His catalog of 200 incunabula conserved in the Print room appeared in 1903, Les deux cent incunables xylographiques du Département des estampes. The acclaimed exhibition, Les Primitifs français, in the Louvre (Pavillon Marsan) and in the Bibliothèque nationale, organized by Bouchot, was a high point in his career. Its success led to Bouchot's election as a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. An exhibition on eighteenth-century artworks was held in 1906. Bouchot died suddenly in the same year. He was a member of the Société des Antiquaires de France, and the Société d'Émulation du Doubs. The exhibition Les Primitifs français was a patriotic response to the celebrated exhibition Les Primitifs Flamands of 1902 held in Bruges, Belgium. Important research on the Flemish Primitives had been done by James Weale and Georges Hulin de Loo. Bouchot's concept of a leading French school at the beginnings of the Renaissance was debated among others by Louis Dimier, who also criticized the nationalist character of the exhibition. Even Georges Lafenestre, curator of the Louvre, who wrote the introduction to the catalog, warned against stupid exaggerations of patriotic vanity.
Selected Bibliography: 
Les portraits aux crayons des XVIe et XVIIe siècles conservés à la Bibliothèque nationale (1525-1646) notice, catalogue et appendice. Paris: H. Oudin et cie, 1884; Le Livre. L'illustration - La Reliure. Etude historique sommaire. Paris: Maison Quantin, 1886; and Duplessis, Georges. Dictionnaire des marques et monogrammes de graveurs. Paris: J. Rouam, 1886-1887; Grevel, H. (ed.) The Book: Printers, Illustrators, and Binders, from Gutenberg to the present time, by Henri Bouchot. London: H. Grevel & Co, 1890; Jacques Callot, sa vie, son Åuvre et ses continuateurs. Paris: Hachette et Cie, 1889; Les Clouet et Corneille de Lyon, d'après des documents inédits. Paris: Librairie de l'art, 1892; M. Georges Duplessis, membre de l'Institut, conservateur des estampes à la Bibliothèque nationale, 1834-1899. Paris: Impr. de Lahure, 1899; "A Newly-Discovered Pack of Lyonnese Playing-Cards" The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs vol. 1, issue 3 (1903): 297-305; Les deux cents incunables xylographiques du Département des estampes. Origines de la gravure sur bois - les précurseurs - les papiers - les indulgences - les "grandes pieces" des cabinets d'Europe - Catalogue raisonné des estampes sur bois et sur métal du cabinet de Paris. Paris: E. Lévy, 1903; and others: Exposition des Primitifs français au palais du Louvre (Pavillon Marsan) et à la Bibliothèque nationale. Catalogue. Paris: Palais du Louvre et Bibliothèque nationale, 1904; Les Primitifs français: 1292-1500: complément documentaire au catalogue officiel de l'exposition. Paris: Librairie de l'art ancien et moderne, 1904; and La Tour, Henri de. Exposition d'Åuvres d'art du XVIIIe siècle à la Bibliothèque nationale, catalogue: miniatures, gouaches, estampes en couleurs françaises et anglaises 1750-1815, médailles et pierres gravées 1700-1800, biscuits de Sèvres. Paris: E. Levy, 1906; La miniature française 1750-1825. Paris: Goupil & Cie, 1907.
Sources: 
Prevost, Michel. Dictionnaire de biographie française 6 (1954): 1234-1235; Bazin, Germain. Histoire de l'histoire de l'art; de Vasari à nos jours. Paris: Albin Michel, 1986 p. 374; Thomas, Antoine and Delaborde, Henri-François. "Henri Bouchot" Bibliothèque de l'école des chartes 67 (1906): 574-578; "Henri Bouchot" Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 10 (1906) no. 44: 96; Gazier, Georges. Henri Bouchot, membre de l'Institut, conservateur des estampes à la Bibliothèque nationale: 26 septembre 1849 - 10 octobre 1906. Besançon: Dodivers et cie, 1907, extract from Mémoires de la Société d'émulation du Doubs (1906); Henri Bouchot, membre de l'Institut, conservateur des estampes à la Bibliothèque nationale (1849-1906): hommage rendu à sa mémoire par ses amis et ses admirateurs: Besançon, 1907; Bourdin, E. "Henri Bouchot de l'Institut 1849-1906. L'Homme et l'ouvre" Procès-verbaux et mémoires Académie des sciences, belles-lettres et arts de Besançon (1906).
Contributor: 
Monique Daniels