Pastel portraiture flourished in 18th-century Europe owing to the medium’s distinctive visual properties – its brilliant colours and warm glow. The powdery nature of pastel crayons allowed artists to bathe their sitters in flattering light, and the dual nature of works in pastel – realistic yet ephemeral –inspired in viewers a sense of wonder. This exhibition will draw from a small but important group of French, Italian, German, and British pastels in the Met’s collection. Examining works by Rosalba Carriera, Charles Antoine Coypel, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, and other leading portraitists, it will explore the how the popularity of pastel grew in conjunction with the technological and artistic advances of the day. Find out more about the ‘Pastel Portraits’ exhibition from the Met’s website.
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