PAUL-CÉSAR HELLEU (1859-1927)
The Young Connoisseur (France, c.1895)
Red and black chalk on paper
Sir Robert Mayer, CH, KCVO; from 1930s to 2007
This work will be included in the forthcoming 'Catalogue raisonne de l'oeuvre peint de Paul-Cesar Helleu' in preparation by Mr. Frederique de Watrigant
Description / Expertise
One of the most successful French painters and dry point etchers of the Belle-Époque, Paul Cesar Helleu is renowned for epitomising the most fashionable images of the era which inspired “the Gibson Girl” in America, although connoisseurs favour his delicate and more personal studies of children.
After studying at the Beaux-Arts in Paris in the late 1870s, the artist, whose talent was acknowledged by his friends, Monet, Tissot, Whistler and Rodin, was encouraged by John Singer Sargent to become a portraitist. Helleu soon had much of aristocratic society as sitters, receiving commissions from France, England and America. The spontaneity of his draughtsmanship in The Young Connoisseur shows a more personal side of his individual technique.