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Albert de Belleroche (half portrait)
John Singer Sargent -- American painter 
c. 1882 
Private collection 
Oil on canvas 
61 x 45.7 cm (24 x 18 in.)
Inscription top: to baby Milbank
Inscription ur: J. S. Sargent
 Jpg: New English Art Club
Albert de Belleroche (1864-1944) was a fellow art student in Carolus-Duran's studio. He joined the atelier in '82 at the age of eighteen making him the Freshman to the Upper Classman Sargent who was twenty-six. The dedication to "baby Milbank" is actually the senior Sargent affectionately/teasingly nodding to the new kid --  "Milbank" being Albert de Belleroche himself.  When Albert was young he went by his stepfather's surname (Harry Vane Milbank -- oldest son to Sir Frederick Milbank, second husband to Albert's mother -- nee Alice Sidonie Vandenburg) but Albert changed that when he turned thirty thereafter going by his birth father's surname Belleroche (Edmund Charles Belleroche, first husband to Alice). 
(Ormond and Kilmurray, The Early Portraits, pp 97-98) 

Sargent obviously cared for the kid and Albert seemed to have been in awe of the rising star of Paris and clearly the most talented in Carolus-Duran's atelier. Albert took the kidding and did the things underclassmen do in order to learn -- playing gofer, cleaning brushes, stoking the fire in the stove in the winter, and modeling. 

Albert is featured in many drawings and sketches by Sargent and when every nuance and feature had been explored, Sargent just plopped a Spanish hat and coat he'd brought back from his trip to Spain in order to give him something else to paint. ( 

Albert de Belleroche 
c. 1882 

The friendship, however, was warmly felt and during the mid 80's there were a number of letters to Albert from Sargent referenced in Ormond and Kilmurray's book. Sargent even painted Albert's mom as a gift -- a smart move on Albert's part since he got his teacher Carolus-Duran to paint his mother as well. 

Portrait of Mrs. Harry Vane Milbank 
(mother to Albert de Belleroche by first husband) 
c. 1883-1884 



By:  Natasha Wallace
Copyright 1998-2004 all rights reserved

Created 11/12/2003
Updated 08/24/2004


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