In 2017, Horizon Pastel will present its 5th International Pastel Biennial and the Pastel Society of Eastern Canada will be an Exceptional Guest.
Our 20th Annual Members' Choice Exhibition is currently taking place at Maison & Jardins Antoine-Lacombe, at St-Charles-Borromée from March 30th to April 23rd, 2017. More details on the event's page.
Pastel as a medium was first mentioned by Leonardo da Vinci in 1495.
Artists such as Maurice Quentin de La Tour and Rosalba Carriera used pastels to create masterpieces as far back as 1703.
During the 18th century the medium became fashionable for portrait painting, used in a mixed technique with gouache.
In the United States, initially pastels were used only occasionally in portraiture. However in the late nineteenth century, pastel (like watercolor) became more popular. The Society of Painters in Pastel was founded in 1885. The Pastellists, led by Leon Dabo, was organized in New York in 1910.
The 18th-century painters Maurice Quentin de La Tour and Rosalba Carriera are especially well known for their pastel technique. Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin's 1699-1779 pastel portraiture and still life paintings are much admired.
The 19th-century French painter Edgar Degas was a most prolific user of pastel and its champion.
Mary Cassatt, introduced the Impressionists and pastel to her friends in Philadelphia and Washington, and helped popularize both in the USA.
"By far the most graphic and, at the same time, most painterly wielding of pastel was Cassatt's in Europe, where she had worked closely in the medium with her mentor Edgar Degas and vigorously captured familial moments such as the one revealed in Mother Playing with Child (22.16.23). (Metropolitan Museum of Art - Time Line of Art History / Nineteenth Century American Drawings)"
Whistler produced a quantity of pastels around 1880, including a body of work relating to Venice, and this probably contributed to the growing enthusiasm for the medium. In particular, he demonstrated how few strokes were required to evoke a place or an atmosphere.
Pastels became popular in modern art because of the medium's broad range of bright colors.
Modern notable artists who have worked extensively in pastels include Fernando Botero, Francesco Clemente, Daniel Greene, Wolf Kahn, and R. B. Kitaj.
Adapted from Wikipedia