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Alexis-Simon Belle (Paris 1674-1734)
Alexis-Simon Belle (Paris 1674-1734)

Portrait of a young girl, three-quarter-length, in a lilac dress with a swag of flowers

Details
Alexis-Simon Belle (Paris 1674-1734)
Portrait of a young girl, three-quarter-length, in a lilac dress with a swag of flowers
oil on canvas
32 x 25½ in. (81.3 x 64.8 cm.)
In a Louis XV frame.

Lot Essay

Alexis-Simon Belle, the son of the painter Jean Belle, was sent by his father to apprentice with the portrait painter François de Troy. Despite winning the Prix de Rome from the Académie Royale in 1670, Belle turned down the opportunity to study for a time in Italy, hoping instead to remain in Paris and find patronage among the aristocracy there. It was not, however, until 1701 that Belle finally attracted the attention of the court, relocating to Saint-Germain-en-Laye to execute a series of commissions for the exiled English monarch James III. Belle's portraits from this period demonstrate the influence of both Rigaud and Largillière, and on the strength of his mature style, he was received (reçu) by the Académie in 1703, exhibiting at the Salon the following year and again when the Salon was reinstated in 1725. Belle enjoyed the patronage of both the French and Polish courts, and could count among his sitters Louis XV and Queen Marie Leszczynska, as well as her father Stanislav I Leszczynsky, King of Poland (all Château de Versailles).

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