In 1949, Parisian painter Henri Goetz approached Henri Sennelier the famous artist materials manufacturer, about creating a wax colour stick for his friend Pablo Picasso. Picasso, a long-time Sennelier customer and a frequent visitor to their store across the street from the Louvre museum, was looking for a medium that could be used freely on a variety of surfaces without fading or cracking.
Their collaboration produced the incomparable Sennelier oil pastels. Originally available in a palette of classic hues, the colour selection was expanded with the addition of metallic and iridescent hues.
Beyond these classic hues a selection of unique shades is available, and in particular a gradation of greys, required for a balanced palette. This evolution is the fruit of a long-standing collaboration with European and North American painters, who have worked with our company in developing an exceptional palette of shades.
The Sennelier oil pastel is a product that makes use of the components used in all Sennelier colours: top quality pigments, an extremely pure synthetic binding medium and mineral wax. The pigments are ground with an inert, non-siccative binding medium that does not oxidise and that has no effect upon either film stability or surface. This base is then mixed with wax (neutral pH). The balance of this mix provides Sennelier oil pastels with a unique unctuousness and a creamy texture that allows for a great deal of freedom in pictorial expression.
The Sennelier oil pastels possess an extraordinarily high pigment content, thus providing them with a high colouring and covering potential, excellent brightness and a high degree of light stability (with the exception of metallic and fluorescent shades). The remarkable properties of these components, along with their precise dosage, provide Sennelier oil pastels with unique properties, making the brand a world-recognised reference.