Albert de Belleroche (1864-1944):
Mata Hari (?), circa 1905
Framed (ref: 592)
Signed, number 170 on the reverse
Pencil,14 1/2 x 10 1/4 in. (36.7 x 26 cm)
Provenance: the artistí's studio; William de Belleroche; private collection
'While his works are diverse ... they celebrate foremost the womanhood of our time ... These are thoroughly modern works which capture brief, reverent moments of joy, tenderness and wonder, much like the works of Sargent, Helleu or Besnard.Belleroche's portraits of woman are iconographic' (Roger Marx, 'Peintres-lithographes Contemporains: Albert Belleroche', Gazette des Beaux-Arts I, vol.39, 1908,p.74).
Along with Paul Helleu, Belleroche produced some of the most evocative images of belle-Èpoque women of his generation. Although Belleroche made a number of lithographs of women with turbans or toques around this period, none are known to relate specifically to this study.
The sitter bears a close resemblance to Mata Hari:
Belleroche made at least on lithographic images of Hari:
It has also been suggested that the model for this portrait was the wife of Paul Helleu who sat for Belleroche on several occasions.
We are grateful to Gordon Anderson, George Kenney and Devon Cox for assistance.