La Boissi√®re was an inn near Ch√¢teaudun where Belleroche stayed when he painted in the countryside. Here he rented La Vielle Chapelle which was spacious enough to house the huge press, (Imprimerie Le Mercier), from which he hand printed his lithographs. This painting provides a rare record in colour of his studio as it appeared circa 1910, the walls decorated with paintings by Belleroche and his friends – clearly identifiable is the Lautrec poster of La Revue Blanche (top left).
Belleroche and Lautrec, exact contemporaries, first became acquainted with each other in the early 1880’s when they both frequented the Cafe de la Rochefoucauld. They soon formed a friendship, painting each others portraits in 1882, and for the following decades shared the same model and mistress Lily Grenier.
La Boissi√®re was often the setting and subject of Belleroche’s lithographs – his lithograph of 1909 entitled Atelier, La Boissi√®re, shows the same veiled figure, seated slightly to the left of the viewpoint seen in this oil.
The model, in full mourning dress, is likely to be Julie Emilie Visseaux, the daughter of Belleroche’s sculptor friend Jules Edouard Visseaux, whom he married in 1910.