PAUL CÉSAR HELLEU PAINTINGS FOR SALE & BIOGRAPHY
PAUL CÉSAR HELLEU
Paul César Helleu was a close and life-long friend of Sargent. According to Stanley Olson, John Singer Sargent bought a pastel from Helleu. “They were constant companions, going everywhere together, having their meals together, seeing each other every day. . .” In a letter to his daughter, Paulette, in December 1922 Helleu wrote, “J’ai voulu faire photographier Sargent qui à été pour moi, tout au long de ma vie, plus qu’un père.”
During the summer of 1889, Sargent had a number of guests to stay at his house at Fladbury near Pershore, including Vernon Lee, Ansttruther Thomson, Flora Priestly, and Paul and Alice Helleu. Helleu’s intimate portrait of his wife at Fladbury was painted in that summer when both he and especially Sargent, were experimenting in Impressionism. Sargent completed among others, Two Girls with Parasols at Fladbury, Fishing, Two Girls in a Punt, A Boating Party, and probably the best know of the Fladbury pictures, Paul Helleu Sketching with His Wife (now in the Brooklyn Museum, New York).
In Patricia Hill’s book John Singer Sargent (New York, 1987), William H. Gerdts writes in his essay entitled "The Arch Apostle of the Dab-and-spot School, John Singer Sargent as an Impressionist", p. 131: “Finally, Paul Helleu Sketching must be seen as a further step in Sargent’s development of the theme of out-door- painting. Helleu’s canvas is turned away from the spectator, just as it had been in Dennis Bunker Painting. But whereas Bunker was shown ruminating, away from his easel, Paul César Helleu is busily at work, and presumably confidently so. The subject he paints is of no concern nor does the spectator have a view of the scene which might be serving Helleu for his subject. What is certain is that it is an outdoor view, immediately recorded. Moreover, Helleu, like Sargent, was first and foremost a portrait painter, and by definition a portraitist of studio conceptions. Thus, Sargent presents Helleu as a convert to the new method, exploring new thematic interests. And it must be noted that Helleu is depicted doing exactly what Sargent was doing in his picture – painting out-of-doors. Helleu therefore becomes, in a sense, a surrogate Sargent himself, both men established artists in one tradition, sailing off into what was for them relatively uncharted waters."
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Musée du Luxembourg, Paris
Musée du Louvre, Paris
Mark Murray Fine Paintings is a New York gallery specializing in buying and selling 19th century and early 20th century artwork.
PAUL CÉSAR HELLEU
Paintings for sale
Paul César Helleu Paintings Previously Sold
Paul César Helleu: An Appreciation
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Additional Paul César Helleu Paintings Previously Sold
Press Coverage of Paul César Helleu and Mark Murray Fine Paintings
Mark Murray Fine Paintings is presenting an exhibition of a group of works by Paul César Helleu (1859-1927) on view through November 15. Helleu was one of the most accomplished French portrait artists working in Paris in the heady fin-de-siècle decades of the Nineteenth Century. Works on view include a bravura pastel portrait of Winaretta Singer, Princess Edmond de Polignac and an intimate group of head studies, also in pastel, of Singer's friend Suzanne Lemaire.
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For more information on Paul César Helleu see these additional resources:
The Athenaeum: https://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/list.php?m=a&s=tu&aid=170