Albert de Belleroche (1864-1944):
Life Study in Silhouette, 1890s
Framed (ref: 10147)
Oil on canvas
29.9 x 20.1 in. (76 x 51 cm)
Provenance: Gordon Anderson
Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.93.
The model, as yet unidentified, is believed to have been a part of the colonial exhibition that took place in 1899 in Paris. The model in question would have been a part of a "village nègre" installation - a sort of "human zoo" that became popular as a concept from the 1870s through the the early 1900s.
The device of painting in silhouette was frequently used by Henri Toulouse Lautrec, an acquaintance of Albert de Belleroche. Belleroche and Lautrec were exact contemporaries, and shared in common an aristocratic background and lived in and frequented (and painted) the same artistic milieu. They are thought to have painted each others portraits (as yet untraced). Both artists also had in common, as model and mistress, the celebrated Lily Grenier, who appeared in several of their paintings.
We are grateful to Nathalie Coutelet for her assistance