“His still-life pictures – with the glimmer of light on silver and other objects, the shadows full of rich and reflected tones – has bough a new note into this kind of painting. One might say that he had carried the tradition of Chardin a step further, giving immediacy to his effects of light and colour, crystallizing the emotion of a particular moment. In this work one feels that, with his lively and nervous handling of paint, he makes the objects before him live in the moving light that plays on them, and it’s not surprising that Degas though so highly of these works.” Frank Brangwyn, Foreword to Albert de Belleroche.
Belleroche was 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. He
shared a studio with his friend, John Singer Sargent, whose handling of
pastel was to be of great inspiration to Belleroche. In turn,
Belleroche’s sensitivity to tone and creation of form through the
modelling of light exerted an influence on Sargent. Belleroche’s talent
as a painter was recognized by his contemporaries – Degas purchased a
work from him and in the early 1890s the French state acquired a
painting for the Luxembourg Gallery. Roger-Marx, the critic who
discovered Renoir, was amongst Belleroche’s fervent admirers, referring
to him as ‘le peintre des femmes decoiffées’ (Gazette de Beaux-Arts,
XLX, Jan 1905).