Paul Helleu 1859-1927
N03729 Studies of Mme Helleu and Ellen c.1895
Chalk on paper, 16 1/2 x 11 7/8 (41.5 x 30)
Presented by Dr J.H. Badcock 1923
This drawing was presented as 'Studies of a Woman and Child', but comparison with the drypoints reproduced in Edmond de Goncourt's Catalogue des Pointes-Sèches d'Helleu (Paris 1897) shows the sitters to be the artist's wife Alice and his elder daughter Ellen, born in 1887. A number of similar drawings of Mme Helleu and the children are reproduced in Helleu's book Nos Bébés (H. Bouquet, Paris, n.d.).
The identification has been confirmed by the artist's younger daughter Mrs C.D. Howard-Johnston, who said that her father sold few drawings of this type.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.360, reproduced p.360