THE HISTORY OF OIL PASTEL
1947, artists Henri Goetz and Pablo Picasso approached Henri Sennelier with the idea of designing a professional version of the children's product. Picasso told Henri, "I want a colored pastel that I can paint on anything, wood, paper, canvas, metal, etc. without having to prepare or prime the canvas." Goetz wanted a pastel he could use to start oil paintings. He told Henri, "If painting seems to be the complete of all pictorial techniques, then pastel is certainly the most direct. No instrument as the brush, knife or palette interferes between the artist's gesture and his work." Two years later in 1949, with the help of the two artists, Sennelier invented the first professional oil pastels. They had a creamy consistency with a brilliant color palette. The unusually wide range of grays were chosen specifically by Picasso. Later an assortment of iridescent and metallic pastels was added followed by fluorescents. Sennelier also makes a giant pastel, and more recently a new "Le Grande" size in the same color range as the standards.