French ( b.1920 - d.1999 )
|Image size||18.9 inches x 25 inches ( 48cm x 63.5cm )|
|Frame size||28.3 inches x 34.4 inches ( 72cm x 87.5cm )|
Available for sale from Big Sky Fine Art; this original pastel on paper drawing by the French artist Gabrielle Bellocq dating from around the 1980s.
The work is presented and supplied in its original frame and mount (which is shown in these photographs) and behind plain clear glass. It is our policy to only supply original artwork in very good condition and each piece is supplied ready to hang and display.
The pastel drawing is signed and dated lower right.
Gabrielle Bellocq can be considered amongst France’s greatest artists of the 20th century. She is famed for her unique impressionist style pastels and neo-impressionistic style.
Gabrielle was born in Vendee, Western France in 1920. Her artistic mother taught her piano and singing. Her mother also organised painting lessons for with the nuns at the convent of Saint- Sornin, where the young Gabrielle was taught to copy the works of others. Gabrielle attended boarding school from a young age and her Sundays were spent between church services and walks in the countryside. Here, she built up a mental library of images that she later used in her unique artwork. Although art was always her passion Bellocq did not start to really dedicate herself to painting until the mid 1960s when her own children had grown up. Then she painted almost obsessively, pausing her work only when her children and grandchildren came to stay.
Bellocq lived most of her life in France, principally Brittany and then the Ille d’Orleron. She also spent some time in Switzerland and in England, and all these places influenced her art.
Around 1950 she moved to live on the banks of the River Rance in a classic French manor house blessed with a pretty pond. This mansion house and pond are often reproduced in her paintings in a more or less idealised form.
From the 1960s Bellocq painted only in pastels; she experimented and developed a very personal and distinctive method of using this most delicate medium. It has been said that she did unique things with pastels, producing effects that eluded some of the major French artists. She was able to produce a splatter effect that looked as if wet paint had been flicked onto the paper from the end of a brush. There is a strong impressionist feeling about her work in terms of colour usage and a nostalgic Marc Chagal like quality about her figures, some of which seem to date back to the French “Belle Epoque” (Victorian period). Interestingly, Bellocq never painted from life but from her inspired inner vision, which gives her work a magical almost dreamlike quality. She was a marvellous colourist too, using an incredible variety of colours, sometimes daringly bright, sometimes incredibly subtle, but always full of fine nuances and with a pointillist touch that produced an unusual perspective effect. Her subject matter was always based in nature and figures, landscapes and seascapes, eternal emotive themes which speak to the heart.
Gabrielle Bellocq was acknowledged during her lifetime as a great artist by some of the most respected and authoritative art institutions of Europe. In 1977 she was selected to exhibit in the prestigious Salon des Artists Francais in Paris and every subsequent time she submitted a work to this Salon she was selected, winning gold, silver and bronze medals. She also exhibited at the famous Salon d’Automne. In 1978 the French Ministry of Culture purchased one of her pictures, ‘Opening onto the Ocean’, for the French National Collection, confirming her stature as a great artist and many other significant prizes followed. Three of her pastels were hung in the English Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1980 and a further two in 1988.
Bellocq had many personal exhibitions including in Paris, Windsor, Henley- on- Thames, and Salisbury, Osaka (Japan), Chicago (Illinois), Sedona (Arizona) and Ede (Netherlands). These always attracted enthusiastic collectors and her work remains popular in Europe and beyond.
Bellocq died in Saint-Malo the summer of 1999 and rests in the cemetery in Saint-Briac.
© Big Sky Fine Art
This original pastel work by Gabrielle Bellocq depicts a family group in the formal summer dress of the late Victorian period. The dozen or so figures include men, women and children and are painted simply and elegantly. They are standing in an open area of garden or grassland which is abundant with wildflowers and fringed with a line of tall conifer type trees. The figures, a family group, face a large mansion, possibly a representation of the great manor house Bellocq lived in for many years and which appears in many of her works. The palette is one of rich autumnal shades and the overall impression is one of serenity.
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