Fine Antique Decorative Arts by Estate Liquidations and Consignments
Charcoal Gouache 19th C Orientalist L Belly 1827-1877

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Directory: Fine Art: Drawings: Charcoal: Pre 1900: item # 1173107

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Estate Liquidations and Consignments
South Central United States
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Charcoal Gouache 19th C Orientalist L Belly 1827-1877

Pair of charcoal and gouache drawings by Leon Belly, 19th Century French artist. While "del" often stands for "after," we believe in this case, that del. ("Belly del." left below each drawing) is for delineator (the creator), and that these sketches were likely from a sketch book kept with the artist on his travels. Each drawing has charcoal smudges on its verso, indicating one lay atop another, as if in a sketch book. Note the change in color at the margins of the drawings, indicating that this is a reframing, although not too recently as the frame appears to be quite old. It could perhaps be that this was only a rematting. We are unable to translate the titles as written beneath each sketch. They read, upper, "Ouad maief Embaryheg," and lower, "Bords du Nahr-ed Draa (Moabitide)."

Sight measurements are, the upper 6.75" x 9.75" and the lower 6" x 9.50"; matted to 19.50" x 14.50"; framed to 22.50" x 17.25" x 1.25". Giltwood frame has several areas of loss to both the gilt and the gesso, and has craquelure. Images are in excellent condition, with only the margin color differences mentioned. c. 1855-1875. $60 US Shipping.

ABOUT THE ARTIST: Oil paintings by this artist have sold at auction for as much as $283,000 (Sothebys, London, 2006). [Askart]

"The French artist Leon Belly first traveled to the Near East in 1850 as part of an archeological expedition. He was only 22 years old yet he had the important job of rendering the ruins and landscapes they encountered. He would make his own journeys beginning in 1855 in which he spent a year in old Cairo before traveling to the Sinai desert. Later with artists such as Gerome he would explore the Nile valley. On these trips his personal style would evolve that emphasized the vastness of the landscape. Like many who made the journey to the Holy Land he was spiritually changed. In his most famous work 'Pilgrims going to Mecca' he painted three figures representing Joseph, Mary and the infant Jesus in the picture to illustrate the universality of religion." [Courtesy, Orientalist Art, a website devoted to this subject]

"Belly, Leon Auguste-Adolphe. (Fr.) Born at St. Omer (1828-1877). Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. Pupil of Troyon and T. Rousseau. Paints Oriental subjects and portraits . . . . "Superior as a painter to Fromentin, and inferior only to Delacroix, equal to the best pupils of Rousseau, and often worthy of his master, Leon Belly, is not only, as one has said, one of the first among the seconds, he is one of the seconds among the firsts. In whatever genre he has tried his talent, and these genres are very varied, he has always been equal to himself because he has always been sincere. There is no other secret in art . . . His works are charming without ceasing to be learned. They emanate from a very distinguished and cultivated mind . . . . Emile Beroerat, Journal Officiael, August 15, 1877." [Artists of the Nineteenth Century and their works, Clara Waters and Laurence Hutton]

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