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Paris’ Maison du Pastel: A Feast of Color

by Lory Martinez

HiP Paris Blog explores Maison du Pastel, a go-to for artists in Paris as it stocks colorful traditional pastels like in these wooden boxes.

Diamond White, Autumn Leaves, Naples Yellow. These are just some of the color creations lining the walls of the historic Maison du Pastel boutique in the 3rd arrondissement. The shop sells a range of pastels that date back to the 18th century. Artists, enthusiasts, and curious travellers can visit the shop for one of Paris’ last remaining feasts of color. Well, of this kind at least.

HiP Paris Blog explores Maison du Pastel, a historic family-run shop in Paris that sells a wonderful selection of traditionally made colorful pastels.

 

The historic Maison du Pastel shop is a feast of color in Paris and is a go-to for artists from all over the world.

La Maison du Pastel (The House of Pastels) is run by Isabelle Roché and her American partner, Margaret Zayer. Roché, who like many in her family began her career as an engineer, decided to make a career change, and joined the family pastel business in the early 2000s with a mission to keep the pastel-making tradition alive.

The Maison du Pastel art store in Paris sells the most beautiful colors of pastels all traditionally made, like this open wooden box of yellows, grays and oranges.

With the help of Zayer, she uses the family’s pastel recipes to develop new colors for today’s artists. Zayer and Roché roll the pastels by hand, transforming powdered pigments into new shades that can’t be found anywhere else. Zayer is in charge of inventing new colors to expand the shop’s range with subtle, often unexpected new tints.

The historic store, Maison du Pastel in Paris, has shelves lined with boxes of traditionally made pastels of all colors.

Though the shop’s most popular colors are rich reds and blues – favorites of the shop’s more famous clients, Sam Szafran and Edgar Dégas – the pair recently took to creating more contemporary options for a new wave of pastel artists and color enthusiasts. Zayer has developed colors that draw the eye, including shades of millennial pink, sparkling autumnal hues, and even a pure black that rivals Anish Kapoor’s controversial Vantablack in pastel form.

HiP Paris Blog explores the Maison du Pastel store in Paris that sells the most vibrantly colored pastels like these boxes of rich purples (left). Isabelle Roché and Margaret Zayer who run the Maison du Pastel and keep the Parisian landmark alive (right).

Maison du Pastel – 20 Rue Rambuteau, 75003 Paris. Open Thursdays 14h -18h or by appointment. +33 01 40 29 00 67.

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Written and photographed by Lory Martinez for HiP Paris. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, Tuscany, Umbria or Liguria? Check out Haven In.

HiP Paris Blog explores the Maison du Pastel store in Paris, where Edgar Degas would buy his pastels, like these little boxes.

Written By

Lory Martinez

Lory Martinez is a Paris-based freelance writer and podcast producer. Her work has been featured on NPR, UN Radio, and Great Big Story. She also hosts the podcast Serial Culture, in which she explores the multicultural identities of Parisians. View Lory Martinez's Website

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