Gustave Sennelier, a chemist by trade, thoroughly researched the history and usage of pigments to develop a distinctive process for manufacturing oil colors. The process involved the formulation of precise methods for mixing tones, and for controlling opacity and transparency.
He opened the doors of the Maison Sennelier at 3 Quai Voltaire in 1887, grinding his own pigments in the back yard. The Parisian landmark remains unchanged to this day, facing the Louvre on the Left Bank, just around the corner from the École des Beaux Arts.
The passing of more than a century has seen artists with names like Cézanne, Gauguin, Monet, Bonnard, Soutine, Picasso, Modigliani, Kandinsky, Chagall, and Dali pass through its doors.
In 1949, the Sennelier shop created a product specially for Pablo Picasso. He wanted colors he could use on any surface, without first having to do special preparation or coating. Henri Sennelier, Gustave's son, created the first oil pastel, a stick of colored chalk that is waxy rather than powdery. It goes on thickly and won't smudge.
The essential factor in the history of Sennelier is a passion for colour, embodied in the choice of pigments used in Sennelier colour ranges. Sennelier circles the globe to find classic and rare pigments that possess qualities that are both beautiful and unique.
Sennelier can provide the artist with whatever materials are needed, no matter how esoteric or historic they may be. Sennelier has been a resource for artists since the era of the Impressionists, and that tradition continues today for all customers of the Maison Sennelier.
At The Italian Artshop we are very proud to offer our customers Sennelier's artist oil, artist acrylic, artist watercolours, artist oil sticks, and oil pastels.