Skip to main content
Want more images or videos?
Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 8

Paul César Helleu
Miss Taylor

c. 1900

About the Item

Miss Taylor Drypoint, c. 1900 Signed in pencil lower left (see photo) Small edition, about 10 Very rich impression, full of burr Condition: Excellent Image size: 21-1/4 x 13-1/4" Sheet size: 25 3/8 x 18 5/8" Reference: Montesquiou XII Paul César Helleu was born in Vannes, Brittany, France. His father, who was a customs inspector, died when Helleu was in his teens. Despite opposition from his mother, he then went to Paris and studied at Lycée Chaptal. In 1876, at age 16, he was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts, beginning academic training in art with Jean-Léon Gérôme. Helleu attended the Second Impressionist Exhibition in the same year, and made his first acquaintances with John Singer Sargent, James McNeill Whistler, and Claude Monet. He was struck by their modern, bold alla prima technique and outdoor scenes, so far removed from the studio. Following graduation, Helleu took a job with the firm Théodore Deck Ceramique Française hand-painting fine decorative plates. At this same time, he met Giovanni Boldini, a portrait painter with a facile, bravura style, who became a mentor and comrade, and strongly influenced his future artistic style. When he was 18 years old, Helleu established a close friendship with John Singer Sargent, four years his senior, that was to last his lifetime. Already becoming established, Sargent was receiving commissions for his work. Helleu had not sold anything, and was deeply discouraged almost to the point of abandoning his studies. When Sargent heard this, he went to Helleu and picked one of his paintings, praising his technique. Flattered that Sargent would praise his work, he offered to give it to him. Sargent replied, "I shall gladly accept this, Helleu, but not as a gift. I sell my own pictures, and I know what they cost me by the time they are out of my hand. I should never enjoy this pastel if I hadn't paid you a fair and honest price for it." With this he paid him a thousand-franc note. Helleu was commissioned in 1884 to paint a portrait of a young woman named Alice Guérin (1870–1933). They fell in love, and married on 28 July 1886. Throughout their lives together, she was his favourite model. Charming, refined and graceful, she helped introduce them to the aristocratic circles of Paris, where they became popular fixtures. On a trip to London with Jacques-Émile Blanche in 1885, Helleu met Whistler again and visited other prominent artists. His introduction to James Jacques Tissot, an accomplished society painter from France who made his career in England, proved a revelation. In Tissot, Helleu saw, for the first time, the possibilities of drypoint etching with a diamond point stylus directly on a copper plate. Helleu quickly became a virtuoso of the technique, drawing with the same dynamic and sophisticated freedom with his stylus as with his pastels. His prints were very well received, and they had the added advantage that a sitter could have several proofs printed to give to relations or friends. Over the course of his career, Helleu produced more than 2,000 drypoint prints. Soon, Helleu was displaying works to much acclaim at several galleries. Degas encouraged him to submit paintings to the Eighth Impressionist Exhibition in May and June 1886. The show was installed in a Paris apartment at 1 rue Laffitte, which ran concurrently with the official Salon that year to make a statement. Although 17 artists joined the famous exhibit that included the first Neo-Impressionistic works, Helleu, like Monet, refused to participate. Paul Helleu Sketching with His Wife (1889), by John Singer Sargent, The Brooklyn Museum, New York In 1886, Helleu befriended Robert de Montesquiou, the poet and aesthete, who bought six of his drypoints to add to his large print collection. Montesquiou later wrote a book about Helleu that was published in 1913 with reproductions of 100 of his prints and drawings. This volume remains the definitive biography of Helleu. Montesquiou introduced Helleu to Parisian literary salons, where he met Marcel Proust, who also became a friend. Proust created a literary picture of Helleu in his novel Remembrance of Things Past as the painter Elstir. (Later, Helleu engraved a well-known portrait of Proust on his deathbed.) Montesquiou's cousin, the Countess Greffulhe, enabled Helleu to expand his career as a portrait artist to elegant women in the highest ranks of Paris society, portraits that provide the basis for his modern reputation. His subjects included the Duchess of Marlborough, the Marchesa Casati, Belle da Costa Greene, Louise Chéruit, and Helena Rubinstein. Looking for new inspiration, Helleu began a series of paintings and color prints of cathedrals and stained glass windows in 1893, followed by flower studies and landscapes of parks in Versailles. Helleu took up sailing, owning four yachts over his life. Ships, harbor views, life at port in Deauville, and women in their fashionable seaside attire became subjects for many vivid and spirited works. In 1904, Helleu was awarded the Légion d'honneur and became one of the most celebrated artists of the Edwardian era in both Paris and London. He was an honorary member in important beaux-arts societies, including the International Society of Painters, Sculptors, and Engravers, headed by Auguste Rodin, and the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. On his second trip to the United States in 1912, Helleu was awarded the commission to design was the ceiling decoration in New York City's Grand Central Terminal. He decided on a mural of a blue-green night sky covered by the starry signs of the zodiac that cross the Milky Way. Although the astrological design was widely admired, the ceiling was covered in the 1930s. It was completely restored in 1998. Helleu made his last trip to New York City in 1920 for an exhibition of his work, but he realized that the Belle Époque was over. He felt out of touch, and shortly after his return to France, he destroyed nearly all of his copper plates and retired to family life. While planning for a new exhibition with Jean-Louis Forain, he died in 1927 at age 67 of peritonitis following surgery in Paris. Among many of his friends was Coco Chanel, who chose beige as her signature colour upon on his advice—the colour of the sand on the beach of Biarritz in early morning. Courtesy Wikipedia
  • Creator:
    Paul César Helleu (1859-1927, French)
  • Creation Year:
    c. 1900
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 21.25 in (53.98 cm)Width: 13.25 in (33.66 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    Fairlawn, OH
  • Reference Number:
    Seller: FA35571stDibs: LU14011267022
More From This SellerView All
  • J. Becquet, Sculptor
    By James Abbott McNeill Whistler
    Located in Fairlawn, OH
    J. Becquet, Sculptor Etching & drypoint, 1859 Unsigned as issued From: The Thames Set Printed on this Japanese tissue Rich impression Condition: Excellent Plate/Image size: 9 7/8 x 7...
    Category

    19th Century Impressionist Portrait Prints

    Materials

    Drypoint, Etching

  • Woman's Head
    By Elie Nadelman
    Located in Fairlawn, OH
    Edition of 50 printed by Charles White in 1951 for the estate Bibliography: Lincoln Kirstein, Elie Nademan (New York: The Eakins Press, 1973),, 20 Elie Nadelman Born 1882, Warsaw...
    Category

    1920s American Modern Prints and Multiples

    Materials

    Drypoint

  • Untitled (Portrait)
    By William H. Bailey
    Located in Fairlawn, OH
    Untitled (Portrait) Drypoint printed in blue-black graphite mixed with silver, 1974 Signed and dated lower ight (see photo) From: Series entitled Six Drypoints Edition: 23 (4/23) Numbered lower left (see photo) Print Shop: Crown Point Press Printer: Jeannie Fine Publisher: Parasol Press, New York Note: A portfolio is in the collection of the National Gallery, Australia, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco- de Young/Legion of Honor, Davis Museum at Wellesley College and the Yale University Art Gallery. Condition: Excellent Image/Plate size: 6 3/8 x 5 3/8 inches Sheet size: 24 x 20 inches From a portfolio of six drypoints, printed with unqiue combination of blue-black graphite shavings combined with silver to create the appearence of an original drawing. I know of no other artist to use a similar printing technique. William Bailey studied art at the University of Kansas, Yale University and Yale School of Art where he studied with Josef Albers receiving his MFA in 1957. Mr. Bailey’s first exhibition in New York was at Robert Schoelkopf Gallery in 1968, where he showed regularly until its closing in 1990. During the 90’s he exhibited at the Andre Emmerich Gallery and on its closing, exhibited at the Robert Miller Gallery. In 2004 Bailey moved to the Betty Cuningham Gallery where his most recent exhibition was held from April 30 - June 11, 2016. Mr. Bailey’s work has been exhibited extensively in both America and Europe. He is represented in the collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Museum of Modern Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, among others. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in painting in 1965. Mr. Bailey was elected to The National Academy of Design in 1983 and to The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1986. Mr. Bailey taught at The Yale School of Art from 1958 to 1962 and from 1969 to 1995. He has also taught at The Cooper Union, University of Pennsylvania and Indiana University. He maintains studios in New Haven and in Umbertide, Italy. Courtesy Betty Cunningham Gallery Tribute to William Bailey THE NEW YORK TIMES William Bailey, whose pristine, idealized still lifes and female nudes made him one of the leading figures in the return of figurative art in the 1980s, died on April 13 at his home in Branford, Conn. He was 89. His death was confirmed by his daughter, Alix Bailey. Beyond his painting, Mr. Bailey influenced generations of students in his many years as a teacher at the Yale School of Art. In some of his best-known work, Mr. Bailey arranged simple objects — the eggs, bowls, bottles and vases that he once called “my repertory company” — along a severe horizontal shelf, or on a plain table, swathing them in a breathless, deceptively serene atmosphere heavy with mystery. William Bailey, Modernist Figurative Painter, Dies at 89 He swathed his nudes and still lifes of eggs, vases, bottles and bowls in a breathless, deceptively serene atmosphere heavy with mystery. The painter William Bailey in 2009. He was never given a career survey in a major museum, but his influence, particulary on students at Yale, was deep. Ford Bailey By William Grimes for the New York Times April 18, 2020 William Bailey, whose pristine, idealized still lifes and female nudes made him one of the leading figures in the return of figurative art in the 1980s, died on April 13 at his home in Branford, Conn. He was 89. His death was confirmed by his daughter, Alix Bailey. Beyond his painting, Mr. Bailey influenced generations of students in his many years as a teacher at the Yale School of Art. In some of his best-known work, Mr. Bailey arranged simple objects — the eggs, bowls, bottles and vases that he once called “my repertory company” — along a severe horizontal shelf, or on a plain table, swathing them in a breathless, deceptively serene atmosphere heavy with mystery. His muted ochres, grays and powdery blues conjured up a still, timeless world inhabited by Platonic forms, recognizable but uncanny, in part because he painted from imagination rather than life. “They are at once vividly real and objects in dream, and it is the poetry of this double life that elevates all this humble crockery to the realm of pictorial romance,” Hilton Kramer wrote in The New York Times in 1979. Mr. Bailey’s female figures, some clothed in a simple shift or robe and others partly or entirely nude, are disconcertingly impassive, implacable and unreadable, fleshly presences breathing an otherworldly air. The critic Mark Stevens, writing in Newsweek in 1982, credited Mr. Bailey with helping to “restore representational art to a position of consequence in modern painting.” But his version of representation was entirely idiosyncratic, seemingly traditional but in fact “a modernism so contrarian,” the artist Alexi Worth wrote in a catalog essay for the William Harrison Bailey was born on Nov. 17, 1930, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. His father, Willard, worked in radio advertising and moved the family from city to city in the Midwest. Bill was in his early teens when his father died. His mother, Marjorie (Cheyney) Bailey, was a homemaker who later worked as an accountant for her second husband, Fred...
    Category

    1970s Realist Portrait Prints

    Materials

    Drypoint

  • Woman's Head in Profile - Woman's Head in Profile (left) (Havard)
    By Elie Nadelman
    Located in Fairlawn, OH
    Woman's Head in Profile - Woman's Head in Profile (left) (Havard) Drypooint, 1920 Unsigned (as usual) From: The Drypoints of Elie Nadelman, 21 unpublished prints by the sculptor, pro...
    Category

    1920s American Modern Portrait Prints

    Materials

    Drypoint

  • Darius II
    By Darius Steward
    Located in Fairlawn, OH
    Signed in pencil lower right Edition: 3 impressions Signed, dated and annotated “1 of 3” Exhibited: Zygote Press, Cleveland, 2016 Tregoning & Co. 2017
    Category

    2010s Contemporary Figurative Prints

    Materials

    Drypoint

  • Femme Assie
    By Pierre Georges Jeanniot
    Located in Fairlawn, OH
    Signed in pencil lower left; publisher stamp lower right 100 (88/100)
    Category

    1910s Portrait Prints

    Materials

    Etching, Drypoint

You May Also Like
  • "Madame Georges Menier" Portrait, by Paul Cesar Helleu
    By Paul César Helleu
    Located in Hinsdale, IL
    HELLEU, PAUL CÉSAR (1859 -1927) "MADAME GEORGES MENIER" Montesquiou XXI Drypoint in colors, c. 1900 Signed in pencil, lower right Printed on wove paper Full...
    Category

    Early 20th Century Art Nouveau Portrait Prints

    Materials

    Drypoint

  • English Bar
    By Louis Legrand
    Located in Storrs, CT
    English Bar. 1908. Etching and drypoint. Exsteens catalog 275 state ii. 8 1/8 x 5 5/8 (sheet 17 3/8 x 12 1/4). Series: Les Bars. Edition 65 in this state (total edition 95). Printed ...
    Category

    Early 1900s Art Nouveau Figurative Prints

    Materials

    Etching, Drypoint

  • Jeune Femme Cousant; Madame Helleu (Young Woman Sewing, artist's wife)
    By Paul César Helleu
    Located in Middletown, NY
    Paris: Gazette des Beaux Arts, 1892. Etching and dry point on cream laid paper. 7 9/16 x 5 7/8 inches (191 x 148 mm), full margins. Signed in pencil, lower right margin. A dark, ink...
    Category

    Late 19th Century Realist Portrait Prints

    Materials

    Drypoint, Etching

  • René de Laudonnière Sablais (de Burdigale). After Crispjin van de Passe I
    By Charles Meryon
    Located in Middletown, NY
    Paris: 1861 Etching, drypoint, and engraving on cream laid paper, 6 x 4 1/4 inches (152 x 108 mm), full margins. Dog-eared left corner, extending 3-inches into the sheet, but well ou...
    Category

    Mid-19th Century French School Portrait Prints

    Materials

    Laid Paper, Etching, Drypoint, Engraving

  • Promenade dans la Neige - Etching by J. Tissot - 1880
    By James Tissot
    Located in Roma, IT
    Beautiful print on verge crème, 2° state on 3, with letters printed in red. Stamp “Lugt 1545”. Little crack and fold on lower left margin of the sheet. Some small traces of oxidati...
    Category

    1880s Post-Impressionist Portrait Prints

    Materials

    Drypoint, Etching

  • Semen: large scale expressionist nude male figure portrait, floating in pink
    By Francesco Clemente
    Located in New York, NY
    This large scale, ethereal portrait depicts a tranquil male nude figure floating in pink and blue. Based on a tempera painting, an expressionist, emotive piece to bring dramatic impa...
    Category

    1980s Contemporary Nude Prints

    Materials

    Drypoint, Aquatint, Etching

Recently Viewed

View All