'The craze for Pastel', new exhibition at Tate Britain

February 18 2014

Image of 'The craze for Pastel', new exhibition at Tate Britain

Picture: Tate, via Jan Marsh

Here's an interesting new exhibition coming up later this year at Tate Britain, 'The Craze for Pastel'. Says the Tate website:

Celebrating the recent acquisition of Ozias Humphrey’s pastel portrait Baron Nagell’s Running Footman c.1795, this display will explore the emergence of pastel in the 18th century and its phenomenal, if relatively short-lived, success as a fashionable alternative to oil paint. Tracing its evolution from natural chalk – long used for figure and landscape sketches – into a full colour medium, this display will include many rarely exhibited works from the Tate collection. Featuring experimental pastel drawings by Thomas Gainsborough alongside finished portraits by leading pastellists such as John Russell and Daniel Gardner, it aims to demonstrate the central importance of the medium to the increasingly competitive 18th-century British art world.

I had missed Tate's acquisition of the Humphry pastel (above), which looks like a splendid painting.

Readers wanting to know more about why pastels had such an intense but brief moment in the art historical sun should head towards the blog of pastel king Neil Jeffares, here, and also his recent piece for The Burlington website here.

The show runs from 7th April to 5th October.

Update - this is weird; a reader alerts me to the fact that the above story has been copied, unacknowledged, by this website, but seems to have been auto-translated into a foreign language, and then back into English. So the last paragraph reads like this:

Readers wanting to know some-more about because pastels had such an heated though brief impulse in a art chronological object should conduct towards a blog of pastel aristocrat Neil Jeffares, here, and also his new square for The Burlington website here.

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