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Noëlle Herrenschmidt: A Courtroom Sketch Artist

For six years, Noëlle Herrenschmidt was in the backstage of the French Republic, pencils and brushes in hand, pushing open doors that typically remained closed. This exhibit features a selection of works from the artist’s latest book, Dans les coulisses de la loi, which retraces the path of law in France from the ministries to the Journal officiel, Matignon, the Conseil d’Etat, the Elysée, the Parliament, its two chambers and the Conseil Constitutionnel.

About the artist
Noëlle Herrenschmidt was born in 1940 and started drawing in 1971 for the French group Bayard Presse. She was introduced to the reportage genre in 1980 in Calcutta with Mother Teresa, then in Hong Kong and Vietnam in 1990. It was there that she opened for the first time her box of watercolors, which would never leave her side. She delved into the judicial world in 1987 with the Barbie trial then the Touvier trial for the newspaper La Croix. From 1997 onward, as a courtroom sketch artist, she followed famous trials such as the Papon trial, the contaminated blood trial, the Dumas trial, the Clearstream trial…For the past 30 years, she has also explored enclosed places, jails and hospitals, in order to discover, thanks to drawings and testimonies, the inner workings of these places and how men and women live and work there. Book after book, she has portrayed an image of our society and its key institutions: justice, health, religion, and, today, politics. From 2010 to 2016, she immersed herself in the political world in order to explain the backstage of the elaboration of law in France.