Company History

Savoir-Faire was founded in 1981, when its president Maureen Labro decided to import art materials made by Sennelier to the United States.

Founded in 1887 in a shop just steps away from the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, Sennelier began when its founder Gustave Sennelier began to mix oil colors and watercolors for the most important painters of the time, including Cézanne, Gauguin, Picasso and Kandinsky, as well as for nearby students. In the early 1900s, Sennelier made an extremely significant contribution to artists with the development of soft pastels à l’écu, an incredibly soft, intense color medium handmade from pure pigments. The original color range and pigment selections - many of which still exist today - were developed for and with Edgar Degas. Later, the company’s world famous oil pastels were developed specifically for Picasso, who requested a versatile tool he could use to draw with on any surface, and in a color palette chosen to be close to the one he used for his oils.

Savoir-Faire's other illustrious manufacturers include:

Fabriano fine art papers from Italy - the widest and most beautiful range of premium quality papers for drawing, watercolor, writing, and printing, and the oldest papermaker in Europe, creating papers since 1246

Awagami handmade fine art and decorative papers from Japan

Lama Li handmade decorative papers and journals from Nepal

Isabey and Raphael brushes from Brittany, where each brush is meticulously hand crafted by centuries-old techniques for unparalleled quality

Cretacolor artist quality colored pencils, pastels and charcoals from Austria

Lascaux professional quality acrylic paints and mediums from Switzerland

Charbonnel artists’ printmaking inks and materials from France

Savoir-Faire’s French School and Design By Numbers French gouache paints 

Sennelier