Monday, May 9, 2022

Paul César Helleu's Women

Paul César Helleu (1859-1927) portrayed society women.   According to his Wikipedia entry he was eventually rich enough to buy yachts, a subject of his later paintings.

Unlike most portrait painters featured here, Helleu seldom worked in oils.  He preferred pastel and etchings.  Judging by images of his works found via Google and Bing searches, his heyday seems to have been 1895-1915 or thereabouts.

Some of the images below strike me as being rather conventional, a contemporary Gallic variation on stereotypical Gibson Girls.  Others are more interesting, better evoking the personality of the sitter.


Alice Guérin - 1900
Helleu married her.

James McNeill Whistler

Consuelo Vanderbilt, Duchess of Marlborough - c.1901

Madame Letellier - c.1900

Mme. Ryan

Suzanne - Étude de cinq têtes

Kiki Preston (Alice Gwynne) - 1900


Élégante au Chapeau

Pamela Mitford
One of the famous sisters.

Blowing a kiss


Anonymous said...

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Claire said...

I also just recently discovered your blog. It's now in my daily feeds.

I love the way you introduce me to new artists and cast new light on more familiar ones, all the while showing such beautiful work.

Thank you.