Monday, 19 October 2009

Art shop review: Magasin Sennelier, Paris

Name of shop: Sennelier
Address: - 3 quai Voltaire 75007 Paris
Travel to:
  • Métro: Palais Royal - Rue du Bac - Saint Germain
  • Autobus: 24 - 27 - 39 - 48 - 68 - 95
  • Parking: Drugstore - Louvre Carrousel - Saint Germain des Près - Montalembert
Hours: Open every day except Sunday and Monday morning from 10am to 12.45 and from 2.00pm to 6.30pm
Telephone: Tél:0142607215 / Fax:0142610069
Online Store: The website is not really set up for dealing with online orders from people from places outside France. It's more along the lines of providing an online catalogue. I noted that the minimum order is 50.00 euro. Orders should be addressed and signed and confirmed by a deposit or the number of your credit card. The postage and packing are charged to the customer. Goods travel at the risk of the recipient.
Of interest to: Artists who specialise, like me, in the use of dry media - pastels and pencils. Also of interest to those who would like to purchase pigments.
  • fabulous range of raw pigments sold
  • independent supplier and hence not tied into stocking product ranges 'approved'elsewhere
  • customer service appears helfpul; some English spoken
  • supplies a range of pastels (not just Sennelier)
  • excellent choice of coloured pencils - both artist grade and water soluble
  • very good range of different paint media (including some which are not often found elsewhere) and an extensive range of brushes
  • Good range of pastel supports
Think Again?
Summary: A traditional shop which has been around for over 120 years and is likely to be around for a long time to come. I don't think you'll find a bargain but you will see the complete range of some products which are difficult to see elsewhere.
Magasin Sennelier
Le spécialiste de la restauration, des toiles à peindre, des chevalets, des papiers du monde, de la calligraphie mais aussi de la sculpture, de la gravure... et de la la couleur.
Gustave Sennelier set up his art shop at 3 Quai Voltaire in 1887 - some 122 years ago! You can read (in French) about the history of the firm and the shop.

Since that date, many an artist from countries other than France have found their way to its front door.

If you don't have an opportunity to visit, you can see a slideshow of all the photos I took in the Sennelier Shop at 3 Quai Voltaire in Paris on Flickr - with explanations of what each picture is showing.

A very traditional art shop

The shop includes more of a focus on dry media and pigments, soft pastels, coloured pencils and pencils than most. For UK readers I'd liken it to Cornelissens in London in terms of layout and style - wood floors and a limited presence of modern product display units. One got the impression these were only used if they were more effective than alternatives. Personally speaking I like to see a shop which specialises in pastels with old fashioned pastel drawers - and these were of course present!


It's a shop which most pastellists who get to Paris try and visit - if only to see the complete range of Sennelier soft pastels and oil pastels. The display of the giant oil pastels is certainly very impressive. Other pastels stocked included Unison, Pan Pastels and Derwent pastel pencils

Coloured pencils

I paid a visit to see the complete Caran d'Ache Luminance 6901 range on display. I like the pencils a lot but I don't like the price and don't quite know what possessed me to pay €3.95 each for several of them! I did notice that the shop price was significantly more than the price quoted on the Sennelier website.

This is a shop for all coloured pencils fans as it also stocks the complete range of Faber Castell Polychromos, Caran d'ache Pabo as well as Neocolor, Cretacolor and Aquamonolith.


I wasn't paying attention to the paints on offer but the store does offer a good range of good quality paints - for oils, acrylics an watercolour paintings - plus associated media and brushes.


The wall of jars of pigments is simply stunning.

Website and online ordering

The website is written in French and small parts of it have been translated quite badly (automatically?). I wouldn't feel confident about trying to order anything from the shop using the website but if you're good at French or are prepared to persevere I'm sure it's possible. The minimum order that they will deal with is €50.


My Favourite Art Shops - Resources for Artists
As more and more sales move online, it's crucial that all artists continue to patronise and support our favourite 'bricks and mortar' art shops in our towns and cities. These are where we can find the specialist art materials which can be impossible to find online. This site contains:
(1) reviews of favourite art shops
(2) photographs of what they look inside
(3) details of how to find them.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

New Federal rules for product reviews/endorsements by bloggers

Beginning Dec. 1, bloggers, Twitterers and many others who write online product reviews must disclose the receipt of free merchandise or payment for the items they write about.
New York Times - New F.T.C. Rules Have Bloggers and Twitterers Mulling
Not a problem for me. I've already got a disclaimer at the bottom of this blog which clearly states................

The basic principle which underpins this blog is that all all the reviews which appear here should be independent.

What does this mean?
  • I am sent review copies of books by publishers or authors and samples of art materials by suppliers of art materials but I have no financial relationship with those suppliers or any art shop or art bookshop.
  • I am an Amazon affiliate (which helps me to finance the purchase of any new books); however I have no formal affiliation with any other manufacturer or publisher and I buy lots of art books in various art shops)
  • I will always declare if I have any sort of affiliate interest in relation to a product or service under review and I'll also declare whether I was sent a product as a sample.
  • I expect all reviews by other artists which appear on this blog to adhere to the basic premise that any and all affiliations are declared.
I don't think I need to take any action.

How about you?

There are clear issues about how to distinguish between ordinary people who write about products they use in an 'everyday' way and those who provide endorsements with a view to earning money from their blogs.

It's been an issue that has always seemed to me to be one which is best addressed by ALWAYS being open and upfront about any products/books/items I'm sent to review. I don't give positive reviews simply because I'm sent something but I really wouldn't want people to think that a positive review is the result of getting a freebie!!!

Overall, I say what I think - but try to be fair. In relation to negative experiences I notify a manufacturers if a sample product has failed to perform - as I've done just recently. I then seek a replacement to ensure that my review is not distorted by what might be a 'one-off' malfunction. It happens.

Further Information

The Guide was last updated in 1980 so this is a major and important change. It's specifically aimed at ensuring transparency in dealings as much advertising now moves away from traditional channels and towards social networking sites.

Here are some links providing more information.
The revised Guides specify that while decisions will be reached on a case-by-case basis, the post of a blogger who receives cash or in-kind payment to review a product is considered an endorsement. Thus, bloggers who make an endorsement must disclose the material connections they share with the seller of the product or service. Likewise, if a company refers in an advertisement to the findings of a research organization that conducted research sponsored by the company, the advertisement must disclose the connection between the advertiser and the research organization. And a paid endorsement – like any other advertisement – is deceptive if it makes false or misleading claims.
Federal Trade Commission - News:
FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials
For purposes of this part, an endorsement means any advertising message including verbal statements, demonstrations, or depictions of the name, signature, likeness or other identifying personal characteristics of an individual or the name or seal of an organization) that consumers are likely to believe reflects the opinions, beliefs, findings, or experiences of a party other than the sponsoring advertiser, even if the views expressed by that party are identical to those of the
sponsoring advertiser. The party whose opinions, beliefs, findings, or experience the message appears to reflect will be called the endorser and may be an individual, group, or institution.
(c) The Commission intends to treat endorsements and testimonials identically in the context of its enforcement of the Federal Trade Commission Act and for purposes of this part. The term endorsements is therefore generally used hereinafter to cover both terms and situations.
(d) For purposes of this part, the term product includes any product, service, company or industry.
(e) For purposes of this part, an expert is an individual, group, or institution possessing, as a result of experience, study, or training, knowledge of a particular subject, which knowledge is superior to what ordinary individuals generally acquire.
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