Paul César Helleu's Lady standing with hat
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Lady Standing with Hat
circa 1898-1900.
Paul César Helleu (1859-1927) French painter
Oil on canvas
81.3 x 65.1cm (32 x 25 5/8 in)
black and red chalk, heightened with white N 377
jpg: Sothebys 

From Sothebys

The French painter and printmaker Paul César Helleu was born in Vannes on 17 December 1859. In 1870 he entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris where he studied under Jean-Leon Gérôme, a pupil of Ingres. As a student, Helleu was poor, and to earn a living he spent 10 years decorating plates for the potter Joseph-Theodore Deck. His marvellous plate decorations established him as a gifted painter of women's portraits. He soon became friends with some of the leading artists of the day, including Tissot, Whistler, Monet and Sargent. In 1894, Helleu was commissioned to paint a portrait of a young woman named Alice Guerin, with whom he fell in in love, and married two years later. Helleu's wife was undoubtedly his favourite model; she was charming, refined and graceful and his portraits of her are drawn with intimate sensitivity. During the early 1890s Helleu and his wife were popular figures in the aristocratic circles of Paris. The artist was introduced to many elegant, fashionable women, who subsequently sat for his portraits.

Helleu became very well known for his portraits of these sophisticated Belle Epoque ladies. In its subject matter and elegant technique, the Unicorno drawing is typical of the artist's work. With a sweeping thin black line, he portrayed a beautiful elegant young lady, who looks at us proudly, and full of self confidence.

We are grateful to Mr Jacques Helleu for confirming the attribution to Paul César Helleu.
(Sothebys )



Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 13 April 1972, lot 101


The Hague 2001, cat. no. 28, reproduced in colour, p. 148, fig. 21


Offered for sale at Sothebys, Amsterdam, 19 May 19, Session 2,  Sale AM0944 
lot 369, estimated 8,000—12,000 EUR  


By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2004 all rights reserved
Created 5/4/2004
Updated 5/4/2004