Albert de Belleroche (1864-1944):
The dining room of John Singer Sargent, circa 1884
Framed (ref: 2657)
Oil on canvas,
17 1/8 x 16 3/4 in. (43.5 x 42.5 cm.)
Provenance: Julie de Belleroche; William de Belleroche, Ruth Wittman
In a gilded shallow hollow frame with outset corners and canvas cuff.
The room represented in his painting is almost certainly the dining-room belonging to the artist, John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), at 33 Tite Street, Chelsea, London. Sargent painted an almost identical view of the room, called 'My Dining-Room', which is now at Smith College Museum of Art, Northampton, Massachusetts.
Both paintings date from c.1886-9. Sargent moved into the ground-floor studio at 33 Tite Street in 1886, later acquiring the house next door, 31, and knocking a hole through the wall to unite them. The proportions of the room in 33 Tite Street, which was then Sargent's dining-room, and which survives today, match those of the room represented in the paintings. The blue bowl on the sideboard, which features in both works, is still owned by descendants of Sargent's sister, Violet. A second picture by Sargent called 'The Blue Bowl', showing this object, seems to be a view of the dining-room looking the other way (Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts). Sargent and Belleroche had been close friends since their student days in Paris, and are known to have shared a studio from time to time, so there is nothing improbable in their sitting side by side to paint the same scene. The two little girls poring over a sketch in Belleroche's picture, who add to it a warm, human note, have not been identified, probably the daughters of a friend.