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The Art of the Pastel (Hardcover)

The Art of the Pastel By Thea Burns, Philippe Saunier Cover Image
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The only comprehensive history of pastel art, beautifully illustrated with works both celebrated and little known

The Art of the Pastel traces the evolution of this most appealing medium from the fifteenth to the early twentieth century—from its humble origins as a tool for sketching to the height of its popularity in Rococo portraiture, and its embrace by the Impressionists and Symbolists. Authors Thea Burns and Philippe Saunier, both leading experts on the subject, shed new light on the acknowledged masters of the pastel, such as Maurice Quentin de la Tour and Jean-Etienne Liotard, who used these magical sticks of color to capture the character of their sitters; Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt, who used them to reveal the unexpected beauties of the everyday; and Odilon Redon, who used them to explore the inner mysteries of the spirit. But Burns and Saunier consider the pastel work of many other artists as well, from forgotten—yet pleasing—society portraitists to such important names as Delacroix, Whistler, and Picasso.

As a rare achievement, their graceful yet authoritative text is matched by the color plates in this volume, which reproduce the harmoniously blended hues of more than 330 choice pastels, from collections around the world. For reasons of conservation, most of these works are exhibited only rarely, and then only in low light. Now they can be admired all together, without interruption, in this museum between two covers.

A delight for the eyes as well as an important work of art history, The Art of the Pastel will be eagerly welcomed by artists, scholars, and art lovers alike.

About the Author

Dorothea Burns is an independent art researcher and former chief conservator of works on paper at the Weissman Preservation Center of Harvard University. She is an expert on pastel art and metalpoint drawing.

Philippe Saunier, now chief curator at the Direction Générale du Patrimoine in the French Ministry of Culture, was formerly a curator at the Musée d’Orsay, where he oversaw the collection of pastels.

Praise For…

. . .this work is essential for anyone interested in the history and beauty of pastels.
— Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9780789212405
ISBN-10: 0789212404
Publisher: Abbeville Press
Publication Date: September 22nd, 2015
Pages: 384
Language: English
ABA Admin Product Details
Data Source: ONIX
Created At: 2/9/2015 02:08am
Last Updated At: 5/15/2022 09:11am