Skip to Main Content

Paul César Helleu

French, 1859–1927

134 followers

Paul César Helleu

Bio

French, 1859–1927

Followers
134
Biography

Paul-César Helleu captured the gaiety of the Belle-Epoque with his society portraits of beautiful young women (he rarely depicted anyone else) drawn in large format with sweeping lines. Classifying his work along the lines of “posed portraits”, “portraits seized in a moment”, or “intricate affectionate studies”, he produced formal compositions, family scenes, and nudes, both in outdoor and interior settings. He worked in the newly popular medium of printmaking, eventually adopting drypoint etching as his preferred technique because it has the spontaneity of rapid sketches. Over the course of his career, Helleu created over 1,500 color and black-and-white prints, many in editions of only one or two. He is heralded for capturing the soft fibers of the furs and plumes that adorned his fashionable subjects.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Institution
Collected by a major institution
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Biography

Paul-César Helleu captured the gaiety of the Belle-Epoque with his society portraits of beautiful young women (he rarely depicted anyone else) drawn in large format with sweeping lines. Classifying his work along the lines of “posed portraits”, “portraits seized in a moment”, or “intricate affectionate studies”, he produced formal compositions, family scenes, and nudes, both in outdoor and interior settings. He worked in the newly popular medium of printmaking, eventually adopting drypoint etching as his preferred technique because it has the spontaneity of rapid sketches. Over the course of his career, Helleu created over 1,500 color and black-and-white prints, many in editions of only one or two. He is heralded for capturing the soft fibers of the furs and plumes that adorned his fashionable subjects.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Institution
Collected by a major institution
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Shows Featuring Paul César Helleu