About Raphaël & Isabey


Isabey have been making artist’s brushes in France since1895. Although the invention of the metal ferrule in the mid 18th century revolutionized the manufacturing process of brushes, the essential techniques have changed little since the 1400’s. Isabey have helped to keep this traditional and know-how alive. The process of manufacturing Isabey brushes is still entirely manual and the skills required to manipulate fine hairs by hand has been passed down from one generation to the next. The fibres are selected based on their intrinsic qualities. The Squirrel is the finest of all natural hairs, while Kolinsky Sable which is almost as valuable as gold is well-known for its finesse and softness, its resilience and its expressiveness. Isabey work with only the most impeccable quality materials. Each type of fibre and each brush shape is used to create a different feel and a different movement.


The Raphael brush workshop was founded in Paris in 1793. The company prospered despite the uncertainties of the revolution, the empire and the restauration. In 1859, at the age of 34, Charles Sauer bought the company and moved it from Paris to Oinville.
 In 1925, the company was relocated to Saint -Brieuc where it remains today.
The Sauer family have passed down the legacy of fine art brush making from generation to generation and in 1987 Eric Sauer took responsibility the world famous Raphael brand. Innovation, research and development are combined with tradition to produce unarguably some of the world’s finest brushes.

The Making of an Isabey Brush

Isabey Headquarters

The Ranges