PAUL CÉSAR HELLEU
Winaretta Singer, Princesse Edmond de Polignac
Colored chalk on paper
30 x 22 inches (76.2 x 55.8 cm)
Framed: 38 x 30 inches (96.5 x 76.2 cm)
The daughter of Singer sewing machine magnate Issac Singer, Winaretta Singer (1865–1943) was a prominent arts and music patron. She established a salon in the Paris home she shared with her second husband, Prince Edmond de Polignac (1834–1901), which was frequented by Marcel Proust, Isadora Duncan, Jean Cocteau, and Claude Monet. After her husband's death she used her fortune to benefit the arts and especially music, commissioning several works. She was also an artist in her own right, exhibiting her paintings in the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
The Princess, notes Frédérique de Watrigant in her recent monograph, "seriously considered having Helleu paint the portraits of all her friends. Her union with the prince was set up by the Countess Greffulhe and Robert de Montesquiou (her previous marriage, which very briefly bestowed on her the title of Princess Louis de Scey-Montbéliard, was annulled)" [de Watrigant, p. 34].
This work is registered in the archives of the Association of Les Amis de Paul-César Helleu. We are grateful for the assistance of Madame Frédérique de Watrigant for her assistance in the cataloguing of this work.
Private Collection, Pennsylvania
Frédérique de Watrigant, Paul-César Helleu, Paris, 2014, pp. 116-7, illustrated