Studio: international art — 30.1904

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The French Pastellists of the Eighteenth Century

natural to think that whenever we want to depict fT^HE FRENCH PASTELLISTS OF
night in any fashion black should be used, it THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY.

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appears that even moderately dark tints are not gy ARMAND DAYOT.

necessary. There is another inimitable lithograph
by Otto very much like this as to subject, and Diderot, who was fond of using Latin in his
styled Moonlightsimply. On almost all copies the everyday writings, thus . addresses Latour, the
author has heightened the effect by putting in by pastellist: " Memento, homo, quia pulvis es et in
hand light issuing from a window or from' a half- pulverem reverteris." There is, in this melancholy
shut door of some house or other. Chestnuts in reminder of human fragility, an evident allusion to
-Bloom is another exquisite colour-lithograph. The the fragility of the pastel; also a sorrowful appre-
trees are grouped behind a sheet of water, and the hension regarding the length of existence of the
pale moon magically lights up the beautiful blossom- painter's sparkling masterpieces. Nevertheless, the
cones, as well as the white down of the swans pastels of Latour, like those'of La Rosalba, Chardin,
moving about majestically on the water below. Greuze,.- .'Boucher, Louis j Tocque, Perr.otmeau,
Among Otto's midday lithographs the Rest at Vivien, Liotard, Mmes. Vigee and Guiard, are to
Noontime is one of the best, done with the help of this day as fresh in colour as they were two cen-
three stones. A shepherd is resting upon the turies ago ; while many then famous paintings by
ground, and his herd, some browsing, some asleep famous masters—paintings done, as often as not,
in the height of the midday heat, are scattered " after " the light pastels of the great artists I have
over a lusciously green pasture under trees. just named—have turned black, or have become

lamentably crackled.
Which proves abundantly
that although the pastel
may be extremely fragile,
we can yet protect it from
the rapid decay predicted
by Diderot by keeping it
away from damp and
sunlight, by choosing a
favourable place wherein
to display it, by putting
the work under glass, and
by fixing it in its frame by
means of a piece of card-
board, covered by stout,
sized paper or tin-foil.

This is worth knowing
just now, when the pastel-
list's art is in full revi-
val, when galleries and
private collections are
filling every day with
charming works produced
by the luminous touches
of the coloured crayon.
But, above all, let collec-
tors beware of " fixing "
their pastels by means
of a varnish, to increase
their durability. By so
doing one destroys im-
mediately all the original
charm of the work,

portrait of louis xv from the pastel by latour . . .

(In the Musiedu Louvre) all its exquisite vaporous

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