September 15th 2017 to April 8th 2018

 
Between drawing and painting, pastel works are a form of art which are less known to most audiences. They are faster to make than paintings but extremely fragile to both light and vibrations, harder to conserve, hence the reason why we see much less of them in exhibitions. Because they are faster to execute, pastel works confer a sense of spontaneity in the images depicted. In a way, they are to painting what polaroids are to photography. In fact this form of work was often preferred by artists when they wanted a first sketch of an idea or a theme. Colors and textures are different from what we usually see in paintings.

Charles-Lucien Léandre (1862-1930). “Sur champ d’or : Madame Lemoine,  soeur de l’artiste”, 1897

Pastel works became important in the late 18th century with the influence of an artist like Elisabeth Vigée Lebrun, but turned out of fashion in the early 19th. They were readopted in the second part of the 19th, and were very liked for the light material it required, the time of execution, handy when you were doing a famous personality portrait for instance, and also, with the peculiar liveliness of the colors, a wonderful medium to depict and capture visions of nature as became fashionable in the late 19 th century. The current exhibition mostly shows works dating from 1850 to 1920, a truly shifting time for humanity and western civilization.

This original collection, which is a must see, traces back creations of the second part of the 19th century in France. Rare works of artists of international stature such as Berthe Morisot, Degas, Renoir, Gauguin or Cassatt and many less known artists can here be admired. As a plus, the use of pastel by Impressionist artists is a wonderful blend of natural approach and technicality, a highlight of this exceptional show, which can be seen for 5 more months only.

 
Petit Palais: avenue Winston Churchill 75008 Paris

Open Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 6 pm, late evening on Fridays up to 9 pm, closed on Mondays

 

D.A.