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Paul César HELLEU

(1859 Vannes – 1927 Paris)


Le noeud bleu [The blue bow] - c.1900


Drypoint. Signed and numbered in pencil. Edition of 80.

Size of sheet: 61.5 x 40.3 cm.


Montesquiou 40.


Very fine impression with full margins. Framed in the 19th century wooden gilt frame.


This is a portrait of Miss Madeleine Dolley (1874-1949), a famous beauty, comedienne, and dancer from the Folies Bergère.


Paul César Helleu: Le Noeud Bleu [The blue bow]

  • Paul César Helleu was one of the leading artists of the Belle Époque with his elegant portraits of beautiful women. Throughout his long career, Helleu enjoyed a wide circle of friends from John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini in his youthful days, to Edgar Degas, Claude Monet and Jacques-Émile Blanche in his more mature years. He counted many foreign artists among his friends: James Tissot, Walter Sickert, James McNeill Whistler, Alfred Stevens and many others.

    Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac, his greatest patron and author of a book about him, described Helleu as “notre subtil ami, le maître des élégances” (our subtle friend, master of elegancies).

    Helleu's prints were very delicate creations. The combination of the drypoint medium and his own good draftsmanship resulted in works which are gracefully descriptive and yet display a remarkable economy of line. 

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