The first known mention of pastels was in 1495, by none other than Leonardo da Vinci, but it wasn't until the 1700s that the technique become fashionable and in demand, especially for portraiture. Though today we generally relate the term to drawing, back then, pastels were considered paintings, and exhibited as such. The Met brings out some prime examples of the form, from a period that, along with the Impressionist era, represented a high-water mark for the medium.
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