Enfilade

Display | Eighteenth-Century Pastel Portraits

Posted in exhibitions by Editor on June 13, 2017

From The Met:

Eighteenth-Century Pastel Portraits
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 26 July — 29 October 2017

Rosalba Carriera, Gustavus Hamilton (1710–1746), Second Viscount Boyne, in Masquerade Costume, 1730–31; pastel on paper, laid down on canvas (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2002.22).

Pastel portraiture flourished in 18th-century Europe owing to the medium’s distinctive optical properties—its brilliant colors and warm glow. The powdery nature of pastel crayons allowed artists to bathe their sitters in flattering light. The dual nature of the paintings—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 Museum’s collection. Examining works by Rosalba Carriera, Charles Antoine Coypel, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard, and other leading portraitists, it will explore the rising popularity of pastel in conjunction with artistic practices and technological advances of the day.

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 624.

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