These luminous pastels belong to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York who started to collect them only in the middle of the 20th century.
They are not on display often because they are sensitive to light degradation but they were exhibited in the spring and summer of this year to cheer us.
Olivier Journu and detail, 1724-1764, pastel on blue-grey laid paper laid down on canvas. Jean-Baptiste Perroneuau, 1715-1783, French. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Gustavus Hamilton (1710-1746), Second Viscount Boyne in Masquerade Costume, 1730-31, pastel on paper laid down on canvas. Image from the web of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Mrs. William Man Godschall (1730-1795) and detail, pastel on paper laid down on canvas, 1791. John Russell, 1745-1806, British. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
William Man Godschall, 1720-1802, pastel on paper laid down on canvas, 1791. John Russell, 1745-1806, British. Image from the web of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
The museum’s notes point out that the white on the sitter’s collar is wig powder dusting to denote the material comfort which the sitter could afford himself.
Francois de Julienne (1722-1754) and his wife (1724-1795) and detail, pastel, black chalk, watercolour on four joined sheets of handmade blue laid paper, mounted on canvas and adhered to a stretcher, 1743. Charles Antoine Coypel, 1694-1752, French. Metropolitan Museum, NY
Study of a Boy in a Blue Jacket and detail, pastel and chalk on blue laid paper, laid down on paste paper, 1717. Benedetto Luti, 1666-1724, Italian. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Madame Elisabeth de France (1764-1794) and detail, c. 1787; pastel on blue paper, seven sheets joined, laid down on canvas. Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, 1749-1803, French. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
Detail of a pastel of Mrs. Robert Shurlock and her daughter Anne, 1801, pastel on paper laid down on canvas. John Russell, 1745-1806, British. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
The Two Sisters, 1770, pastel on paper laid down on canvas. Jean Claude Richard, Abbé de Saint-Non, 1727–1791. French. Image from the websit of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
This copies this magnificent little Fragonard which is in oil.
The Two Sisters and detail, oil on canvas, 1770. Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1732-1806, French. Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY
And here is a Cy Twombly drawing.
This was included in a review at MOMA in 2017 of the work of Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008, American) and some of his friends. Of whom Cy Twombly, friend from their art college days, and sometime lover of Robert Rauschenberg, was one.
Difficult for me to see anything in this but scribbling.
It has no other meaning for me than that our (Western) symbolic systems have crashed into this unreadable scribble; and the work, unlike the vast work left by Robert Rauschenberg, demonstrates no skill.
Cy Twombly situated his work firmly in the Western tradition and he does have many fans.
4 thoughts on “18th century British and French Pastels”
Thanks for again catching such riches on your camera. Love the tongue in cheek addition of contrasting Twombly.
It is tongue in cheek but it does hide the anxiety connected to what seems to be the total crash of our (Western) symbolic systems. That is the meaning of Cy Twombly’s work to me…………
Je suis toujours admiratif devant les pastels, c’est une technique que je trouve particulièrement difficile.
J’ai l’idee que le pastel est la technique le plus difficile. The Metropolitan Museum dit qu’on ne peut pas melanger les couleurs. On ne peut que de les ajouter les une apres les autres pour arriver a un effet.
J’aime les pastels tellement et je suis triste qu’il n’ y a pas beaucoup des artistes qui en utilisent maintenant!
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