Provenance: from the personal collection of William de Belleroche.
The model for La Toilette is Julie Visseaux. Belleroche married her in 1910, when he was 45 and Julie 17 years his junior. Julie was the daughter of Belleroche’s friend the sculptor Jules Edouard Visseaux.
Belleroche was a founder member of the Salon d’Automne, exhibiting
alongside the Impressionists and associating with Emile Zola, Oscar
Wilde, Albert Moore, Renoir, Degas, Helleu and Toulouse-Lautrec. He
shared a studio with his friend, John Singer Sargent, whose handling of
pastel was to be of great inspiration to Belleroche. In turn,
Belleroche’s sensitivity to tone and creation of form through the
modelling of light exerted an influence on Sargent. Belleroche’s talent
as a painter was recognized by his contemporaries – Degas owned three lithographs by Belleroche and in the early 1890s the French state acquired a
painting for the Luxembourg Gallery. Roger Marx, the critic who
discovered Renoir, was amongst Belleroche’s fervent admirers, referring
to him as ‘le peintre des femmes decoiffées’ (Gazette de Beaux-Arts,
XLX, Jan 1905).
Marx also fully acknowledged Belleroche’s importance as painter-lithographer, writing in 1908: Belleroche holds a premier position in the current renaissance of lithography. No one since Eugene Carriere has equaled Belleroche’s technique or his understanding of lithography. He is a master…. Indeed he is a painter-lithographer: he brings his subjects to life in moving light and shwadows. His ink creates tones which reach the limits of the joyous and profound… His art, born in a daylight which is its own jstification, is created from love.” (RogerMarx, Peintres-lithographes Contemporains:Albert Belleroche” Gazette des Beaux-Arts I, vol 39, 1908, p. 74.