It's hard to understand the reasoning, but often fine arts are put into a hierarchy according to their technique. Engraving and drawing are considered minor arts next to painting and sculpting. But of course you can find sketches that far exceed the expressive capacity of an oil painting. Even within these genres new hierarchies are created. A watercolour is not valued the same as a painting, or a charcoal the same as a pastel. That's why the Mapfre Foundation, aware of the value of this last technique, has dedicated an entire exhibition to it, including first-class works by leading international artists.
'Touching colour. The renewal of pastel' reviews the history and evolution of the genre from the late 18th century to the 20th century. The curator, Philippe Saunier, has selected works that range from subtle to powerful, from the delicacy of the veiled and vanished to the convincing nature of volume and texture, from the freshness of the point where an idea is a seedling to the full bloom of the finished work. In this sense it's worth paying attention to, for example, the great quality of works such as 'Shepherd Guarding His Flock' by Millet, a landscape study by Eugène Boudin, 'La Segadora' ('The Harvester') by Pablo Gargallo or 'Study for a hand' by Picasso.
The exhibition also presents works by relevant artists such as Boldini, Renoir, Berthe Morisot and Odilon Redon, while also including lesser-known names such as Degouve de Nuncques, as well as Catalan painters like Joaquim Mir and Joan Miró. This is a good opportunity to enter the fascinating world of pastel and at the same time get to know another facet of some of the greatest names in the field of painting.