Today

What exactly is a courtroom sketch?

In art schools, this kind of observational exercise is known as ‘drawing from life’ and in the press, we have artist-reporters. The courtroom sketch is a mix of the two. The artists should represent what they see but also, through their drawings, tell us what goes on in a courtroom.

Courtroom sketches provide portraits of the different characters in a trial: defence lawyers, prosecutors, judges, the accused and witnesses but also the decor and any event that might take place during the trial.
The artist’s own opinions, or the editorial line of the media that commissioned the drawings often determines the viewpoint of the images produced.

Listen to Stéphane Durand-Souffland, court reporter - 2:20 [MP3 - 0.5 Méga octets]

Listen to Noëlle Herrenschmidt, artist - 0:59 [MP3 - 0.7 Méga octets]

Image n°1 : Prosecuting Counsel, Law Courts in Paris.


2009. Watercolour and pencil, 23x64cm.

© Benoit Peyrucq


Image n°2 : Prosecuting Counsel, Law Courts in Paris.


France soir. vendredi 27 mars 2009.

© Benoit Peyrucq


Image n°3 : Prosecuting Counsel, Law Courts in Paris.


Le Parisien. vendredi 27 mars 2009.

© Benoit Peyrucq


Image n°4 : The OGM trial, Law Courts in Montpellier.


Charlie Hebdo . mercredi 14 février 2001.

© Riss