Paul Cesar Helleu - La Duchess Audiffred-Pasquier


Original drypoint etching, circa 1910, with blue on her eyes and rouge on her lips, signed by the artist in pencil

Size: Paper size: 35.8 x 51 cms ; Plate size 26.5 x 40 cms

Edition: These etchings were normally not made in set edition numbers but were printed off, “on demand” by the artist. Today one finds a large number of different types but not large numbers of each. Probably they were made in editions of 100 or less.

Note: Helleu is best known for his portraits of society ladies made during the Edwardian period during the “age of elegance” or “Belle Epoch”. In 1886, Helleu befriended Robert de Montesquiuo, the poet and aesthete. Montesquiuo’s cousin, the Countess Greffukhe, enabled Helleu to expand his career as a portrait artist to elegant women in the highest ranks of Paris society and these portraits provide the basis for his modern reputation.

Gaston Audiffret-Pasquier was the grand-nephew and adopted son of Baron Etienne Denis Pasquier an academician. He inherited the title of duke in 1844, and became auditor at the council of state in 1846. He was a prominent 19th century policitican. Helleu is known to have made at least two etchings of his wife, Jenny Fontenilliat, a famous beauty, of which this is an example.

Condition: Paper loss to the top right margin far from the image. That apart in very good condition.

Provenance: American Collection