Frédéric Villot was a scholar, collector, bibliophile, and engraver.
A painting curator at the Musée du Louvre from 1848 to 1861, he began to catalogue the collections by setting up a chronological order by schools. He quit his job in the wake of criticism of his restoration policies. He amassed a collection of paintings, drawings, and engravings by Delacroix, and himself engraved a series of etchings after drawings by the master.
They maintained a loyal friendship, despite a few clashes. Frédéric and Pauline Villot, of whom Delacroix was very fond, sometimes invited the painter to Champrosay, the very place where he would later purchase his country home.