As the biggest museum in the world, it’s hardly surprising that the Louvre has an unparalleled collection of European pastel portraits from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Although rarely shown to the public because of their extreme fragility, 120 pastels are on show for the new exhibition En société (In Society), following an exhaustive inventory of the museum’s 160 pieces.
It’s said that the powder used for pastel paintings is similar to that found on the wings of butterflies. If that’s true, it’s a miracle that these works have survived over three centuries and numerous wars.
Thanks to a donation from the American Friends of the Louvre, the museum’s entire collection has been restored and remounted, and it includes some masterpieces like le Portrait de la marquise de Pompadour by Maurice Quentin de La Tour, as well as several new acquisitions.
The curator of the exhibition Xavier Salmon will be presenting it in the Louvre’s Auditorium on 15th June at 12.30pm, and there’s a workshop for adults called Poudre de couleurs, le pastel on 24th June, 8th July and 26th August at 2.30pm.
Guided visits are also available every Saturday at 11.30am starting 23rd June, and a catalogue raisonnée of the museum’s collection has jus been published in French and English (360 pages, 250 illustrations, 59€ here chez amazon.fr).
The exhibition En société – Pastels du Louvre des 17e et 18e siècles is at the Louvre (here) from 7th June – 10th September 2018
Open every day except Tuesdays from 9am-6pm (10pm Wednesays and Fridays)
Admission: 15€ / free for under-18s, and for EU residents under the age of 26
🇫🇷 Le vendredi c’est #LaModeAuLouvre ! Ce pastel représente l’acteur Henri-Louis Caïn, dit Lekain, dans son costume d’Orosmane, le sultan de la pièce « Zaïre » écrite par Voltaire en 1732. Il est vêtu d’un magnifique costume de satin et de broderies, montrant la richesse du personnage et porte un turban surmonté d’une plume qui rappelle son statut de Sultan. En effet, Voltaire et Lekain amorcent une réforme des costumes de théâtre, suivie par de nombreux acteurs et actrices. Ensemble, ils cherchent la « vérité du costume » : les costumes des comédiens doivent désormais correspondre au cadre historique des pièces. * 🎨 Le 7 juin 2018 s’ouvrira au Louvre l’exposition « En société, Pastels du Louvre des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles », vous pourrez y admirer ce portrait et bien d’autres ! – 🌍 It is #FashionFriday at the Louvre! This pastel depicts the actor Henri-Louis Caïn, known as Lekain, in his costume of Orosmane, the sultan of the play “Zaïre” written by Voltaire in 1732. He is dressed in a magnificent costume of satin and embroidery, showing the richness of the character. He also wears a turban with a feather, that recalls his status as Sultan. Indeed, Voltaire and Lekain began a reform of the theatre costumes, followed by many actors and actresses. Together, they think about the “truth of the costume”: the actors’ costumes must match to the historical setting of the plays. * 🎨On June 7th 2018, the exhibition “En société. Pastels du Louvre des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles” will open at the Louvre. It will be the opportunity to admire this portrait and many more! – 📷 © RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Michel Urtado #PastelsDuLouvre #portrait #pastel #Louvre #MuseeDuLouvre #LouvreMuseum #instaLouvre #InstaMuseum