Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.160.
The inscription reads: ‘To my friend Albert Belleroche, John S. Sargent, 1905’.
John Singer Sargent and Albert de Belleroche met in 1882, when the latter was enrolled in the atelier of Carolus-Duran. This would spark a lifelong friendship, and an at times symbiotic artistic relationship, as the the two artists shared studios together in both London and Paris.
Sargent made numerous portraits of Belleroche throughout his career. The most famous of these, painted in 1883, is now in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. That this work remained in Sargent’s possession throughout his life (even hanging in his dining room for a time) is an affirmation of their enduring friendship.
During their time in Paris Sargent and Belleroche were part of the artistic and literary circle that included luminaries such as Renoir, Degas, Zola and Oscar Wilde. Anecdotal evidence suggests that the Albert de Belleroche might have been the inspiration for the artist in Wilde’s A Picture of Dorian Gray, (1890).