Belleroche, Albert de

(1864 – 1944)

Portrait of a woman, c.1885

Signed on the reverse

Oil on canvas (stamped Paul Foinet),

DESCRIPTION

Provenance:
The Artist’s own collection

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.92.

Praising one of Albert de Belleroche’s paintings of a life model, Brangwyn wrote: That, in my opinion, is one of the finest examples of flesh painting that I have ever seen; it is not paint but real flesh’. Theses life studies by Albert de Belleroche date to his period of training under Carolus-Duran (1837-1917). The palette used, with subtle modulated flesh tones set against rich and contrasting background colours, especially dark reds, are typical of Carolus-Duran’s signature portraits of the Belle Epoch. It was during this period that Belleroche met John Singer Sargent, who was to become a life long friend, and with whom he shared studios in Paris and London.

In a black and gold moulded ripple frame.

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THE ARTIST

Belleroche, Albert de

1864 – 1944

Although born in Wales, he was the son of the Marquis de Belleroche, of one of the most ancient French noble families who, being Huguenots, had fled to England in 1685. In 1871, following the death of his father, he moved back to Paris with his family. After he had finished school there, he studied at the studio of Carolus Duran, and spent long hours copying at the Paris museums. He soon became familiar with the leading painters and intellectuals of the day, and became a founder member of the Salon d’Automne, exhibiting alongside the Impressionists and associating with Emile Zola, Oscar Wilde, Albert Moore, Renoir, Degas, Helleu and Toulouse-Lautrec. Toulouse-Lautrec and Belleroche were exact contemporaries, who first met at the age of eighteen. Belleroche painted Toulouse-Lautrec’s portrait and shared with him a passion for the model Lili, who epitomised the Belle Epoch aesthetic of Toulouse-Lautrec’s most celebrated posters. Lili became Belleroche’s favourite model and mistress. In 1882 Belleroche also met the already acclaimed American painter John Singer Sargent, who recognised Belleroche’s talent and empathised with his free drawing style and sensitivity to light. They became life-long friends. Sargent’s handling of pastel was a great inspiration to Belleroche, while Belleroche’s sensitivity to tone and creation of form through the modeling of light exerted a strong influence on Sargent. In 1900, Belleroche became fascinated by the medium of lithography and by 1905 he was a leading figure in the field of lithographic portraiture. A.M. Hind, a former keeper of prints at the British Museum, described his works in lithography as “amongst the greatest achievements of the craft since its discovery.”

He held commercial exhibitions at the Goupil Gallery (1903), Graves, London (1906), Colnaghi’s (1941) and Walker Gallery, London (1942). As however he had no need to live from his art, he rarely took on commissioned portraits, instead choosing models and sitters who interested him. This in part – though not entirely – explains why he is so little known. A room in the MusŽ e D’Orange is dedicated to Belleroche. He was the subject of numerous publications during his lifetime, and in 2001 the San Diego Museum of Art organised an exhibition and produced a catalogue entitled The Rival of Painting: the Lithographs of Albert Belleroche.

MORE PICTURES BY ARTIST

Albert de Belleroche
Rosa
£575.00
Albert de Belleroche
In the Garden, c. 1913
£3,750.00
Albert de Belleroche
Portrait of a lady reclining, circa 1905
£12,000.00
Albert de Belleroche
Interior
£1,300.00
Albert de Belleroche
Profile portrait, young lady, waist-up, circa 1900
£17,750.00