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Eighteenth-Century Pastel Portraits

Metropolitan Museum of Art

26 Jul - 29 Oct 2017

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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The Two Sisters (1770), Jean Claude Richard. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The Two Sisters (1770), Jean Claude Richard. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Madame Élisabeth de France (ca. 1787), Adélaïde Labille-Guiard. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Madame Élisabeth de France (c. 1787), Adélaïde Labille-Guiard. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Study of a Girl in Red (1717), Benedetto Luti. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Study of a Girl in Red (1717), Benedetto Luti. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gustavus Hamilton (1710–1746), Second Viscount Boyne, in Masquerade Costume (1730–31), Rosalba Carriera. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Gustavus Hamilton (1710–1746), Second Viscount Boyne, in Masquerade Costume (1730–31), Rosalba Carriera. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mrs. William Man Godschall (1791), John Russell. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Mrs William Man Godschall (1791), John Russell. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Event website