Paul César HELLEU (Vannes 1859 - Paris 1927)

Portrait of Madame Helleu Sold

Signed Helleu at the lower right.
205 x 269 mm. (8 x 10 5/8 in.)


Throughout his career, Paul Helleu made many charming, intimate drawings and sketches of his wife and their three children, as well as relatives and family friends. The present sheet is a portrait of the artist’s favourite model, his wife Alice Guérin, whom he married in 1886, when she was sixteen years old. Alice Helleu had striking, long auburn hair, whose abundant tresses she would pin up on occasion. An elegant woman of reserved manners, she was always depicted by her husband dressed in stylish clothes, often wearing hats from the finest Parisian milliners. Alice also occasionally posed for other painters, including Giovanni Boldini and John Singer Sargent; the latter painted a double portrait of Paul and Alice Helleu.

The present sheet is related to, and may be a preparatory study for, a drypoint etching by Helleu. The etching, in the same direction as the drawing, is larger than the present sheet, measuring 11 x 14 1/2 in.

Paul César HELLEU

Portrait of Madame Helleu


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