Portrait of Frank Brangwyn, 1936

SKU: 6253

Inscribed “WdeB” b.r. and “William de Belleroche 2-2-36” on the mount

Wood engraving on paper.

Paper size (147mm x 126mm)

Height – 9cm
Width – 9cm


Count Albert de Belleroche; Gordon Anderson,; Private Collection

Literature: Llewellyn, Sacha, and Paul Liss. Portrait of an Artist. Liss Llewellyn, 2021, p.188.

A giant of twentieth century art, admired by luminaries such as Kandinsky, Klimt, Toulouse-Lautrec, Tiffany and Bonnard, Brangwyn remains today a figure who has never managed to reclaim the space which for the first half of the twentieth century he largely occupied on the International stage.

William de Belleroche, the son of Brangwyn’s contemporary and friend Count Albert de Belleroche wrote two books on Brangwyn and sought to promote the artists work during his lifetime.  This portrait – produced when William de Belleroche was 24 and Brangwyn was 69 years old – was never editioned and is this copy, which belonged William de Belleroche all his life, is one of only a handful that are known.  Willam de Belleroche’s extensive collection of works by Brangwyn was sold at Christies in a single owner sale in 1961.

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William de
1912 - 1969

Painter, printmaker, collector and bohemian, born in London, but brought up in Sussex. His father was a painter, Albert, who died in 1944, and William ‘ widely known as Count Willie ‘ inherited the French title. Although he taught himself to paint, William was much influenced by the artist Frank Brangwyn, whom he met in 1934 and befriended for over 25 years. He wrote several books on Brangwyn, who encouraged William to take up printmaking. He was a great collector of objects such as shells, which appear in his paintings, and formed the largest private collection of Brangwyns in the world. Before World War II his initiative led to the foundation of the Brangwyn-de Belleroche Museum in Orange, France. He had a wide circle of friends, including the actresses Hermione Baddeley and Flora Robson, the artists Augustus John and James Fitton and Gwen, Lady Melchett, many of whom he painted. William was very fond of fish, and had a one-man show at Prunier’s Restaurant in 1963, another being held in an interior design shop in Brighton the year following. Others followed annually at Upper Grosvenor Galleries. The Fine Art Society held a show in 1989 which showed William to have been a witty, amusing Colourist. The British Museum and many foreign collections hold his work. He died at the Crown Hotel, Nottingham.

With thanks to