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Engerand, Fernand

    Image Credit: Wikimedia

    Full Name: Engerand, Fernand

    Gender: male

    Date Born: 15 April 1867

    Date Died: 10 November 1938

    Place Born: Caen, Normandie, France

    Place Died: Passy, Île-de-France, France

    Home Country/ies: France

    Subject Area(s): French (culture or style)

    Career(s): archivists and researchers

    Institution(s): Musée social


    Compiler of inventories of French royal art collections; deputy representing Calvados in French parliament (Chambre des députés) from 1902-1936; general secretary of the Musée social from 1898-1902. Engerand received his education from the lycée de Caen and the Institution Sainte-Marie, also in Caen. He was licensed in letters and law, and began his political career as a lawyer for the court of appeals in Paris. Later as deputy in the French legislature, Engerand sat on various government committees for public works and industrial projects. For four years, he served as secrétariat général of the Musée social, a research-based institution dedicated to urban social reform. Engerand was also a journalist who regularly wrote articles in newspapers and journals like Le Correspondant, L’Illustration, and L’Écho de Paris. In the mid-1890s, Engerand began writing for archival publications like the Revue de l’art français ancien et moderne (Nouvelles archives de l’art français) and the Gazette des Beaux-Arts on French art from the seventeenth thru nineteenth centuries. He was particularly dedicated to the art of his native region of Normandy, and in 1905 passed a law, the Projet de résolution relatif aux musées de province, that supported the study and inventory of local museums throughout the country.

    Engerand’s most well-known contributions to art history, his inventories on the royal art collections of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (Inventaire des tableaux du roy: inventaires des collections de la Couronne par Nicolas Bailly (1899) and Inventaire des tableaux commandés et achetés par la Direction des Bâtiments du Roi de 1710 à 1792 (1900)), reflect the nationalism felt by the generation of Frenchmen living in memory of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870 (Weil-Curiel). After the First World War, such feelings also directed Engerand’s political career more towards foreign affairs and heavy industry (Jolly). He received multiple distinctions from the Académie française for his writings on recent French history and contemporary social issues and Franco-German relations. In 1899 he received the Marcelin Guérin prize for his book published that year, Ange Pitou, agent royaliste et chanteur des rues (1767-1846). In 1917, he received the same annually-awarded distinction for L’Allemagne et le fer: les frontières lorraines et la force allemande (1916). Lastly, in 1941, Engerand was awarded the Prix général Muteau for a book on art from his native Caen, Les Trésors d’Art religieux du Calvados, which his daughter published posthumously in 1940. A portion of his personal papers at the regional archives in Calvados were destroyed in 1944 from aerial bomblings during WWII.

    Selected Bibliography


    • “Fernand ENGERAND.” Académie française. Accessed July 27, 2020;
    • Bazin, Germain. Histoire de l’histoire de l’art de Vasari à nos jours. Paris: Albin Michel, 1986, p. 482;
    • Lorenz, Otto. “ENGERAND (Fernand).” In Jordell, Daniel, ed.Catalogue général de la librairie française. Paris: Nilsson per Lamm, 1908-1909, vol. 14 (1891-1899), p. 719;
    • Jolly, Jean. Dictionnaire des parlementaires français: notices biographiques sur les ministres, sénateurs et députés français de 1889-1940. Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1968, vol. 5, p. 1623;
    • Oursel, Noémi Noire. “ENGERAND (Fernand).” In Nouvelle biographie normande. Supplément. Paris: A. Picard, 1888, p. 152;
    • “ENGERAND (Fernand).” In Qui êtes-vous?: annuaire des contemporains; notices biographiques. Paris: G. Ruffy, 1924, p. 271;
    • Samuel, René and Géo Bonet-Maury. “Engerand (FERNAND).” In Les parlementaires français, 1900-1914: dictionnaire biographique et bibliographique des sénateurs, députés, ministres… Paris: G. Roustan, 1914, p. 156;
    • Weil-Curiel, Moana. “ENGERAND, Fernand.”Dictionnaire critique des historiens de l’art. Institut national d’histoire de l’art. Last updated December 2, 2008.


    • Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des manuscrits, Nouvelles acquisitions françaises (NAF), Fonds Pierre de Nolhac. Boîtes 12-15 : Correspondence. NAF 28364 (Boîte 13).

    Contributors: Emily Crockett, Lee Sorensen, and Yasemin Altun


    Emily Crockett, Lee Sorensen, and Yasemin Altun. "Engerand, Fernand." Dictionary of Art Historians (website).

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