The art world suffered a true tragedy this month with the unexpected passing of the acclaimed French artist Emile Bellet. He passed peacefully on July 1, 2022, survived by Ile, his wife, and [...]
Emile Bellet was a self-taught artist who aligned himself with the discipline of the Fauves (French for “wild beasts”)—a school of artists who lived at the turn of the 20th century that includes Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne, Raoul Dufy, and Maurice de Vlaminck. They painted in vivid non-authentic color, and Bellet mastered this discipline with an impasto knife, using highly saturated colors to paint his elongated mannerist forms.
Bellet’s paintings often center on a mysterious figure, representing a timeless and ageless femininity.READ MORE +
BELLET: PERSONAL HISTORY
Emile Bellet was born in Provence, France in 1941. He began to paint at 5 years old and, by the age of 19, he held his first exhibition in 1960. When he was only 12, Bellet won first prize in a national art journal. In 1976, his career began in earnest when he was noticed by Galerie Guigne. Bellet completed the stained glass windows of the church “Notre Dame de Bon Voyage” (Our Lady of Happy Travels) in 1978, in Port de Bouc, France—a beautiful display of his talent. He was also commissioned by the Alpine Maritime Region to paint the work, “Travaux des Champs” (Work in the Fields).
Every morning, Bellet was known for rising early and easing into his activities of the day—he called this his “second breathing state.” He arranged flowers, tended to his olive trees, and decoded the various themes of his paintings in his head. Bellet thought about his paintings for hours during the morning, had lunch, and then began working around noon for the rest of the day.
He enjoyed painting “en plein air” as the Impressionists did, choosing to paint the villages and scenery from his native France. He lived high up in the mountains, taking in the breathtaking colors of the Mediterranean that suit his painting perfectly. By painting outdoors, Bellet felt like he was bringing a small piece of Van Gogh to our time.
Bellet passed peacefully on July 1, 2022. He is survived by Ile, his wife, and millions of collectors and fans.
BELLET: STYLE AND INFLUENCES
Emile Bellet’s paintings are notorious for the mysterious female he included in his compositions. His wife, his daughter, and musings on an idyllic kind of woman were all sources of his inspiration. The familiar female figure used throughout his work is symbolic of his impression of femininity. She represents all women and, for this reason, has no facial expression. She is timeless, ageless, and universal. He also painted her in stages—first in blonde, then in brunette, and finally with red hair.
The whimsical movement derived from Bellet’s impasto knife lends a sense of vision to his work, taking the viewer to a passing, momentary location. His settings are ethereal and transient, creating an atmosphere of mystery.
Patrice de la Perriere, Director of the Art Revue, “Univers des Arts” (Universe of the Arts) said of Bellet:
“Les femmes rouges de Bellet, evanescentes, s’exposent avec magnificence dans la fragrance d’une lumiere d’ete. Qu’elles soient debout, pres d’une fenetre s’ouvrant sur un paysage romantique, ou bien assises langoureusement dans un interieurconfortable, les “femmes” de Bellet n’en finissent plus de vous attirer dans un monde onirique.” Leur presence, indiscutablement, apporte au spectateur une reelle emotion.”
“The ethereal, red women of Bellet magnificently show themselves in the fragrance of summer light. Whether they are standing near a window opening onto a romantic countryside, or sitting languorously in a comfortable interior, Bellet’s women never cease to draw you into a dreamlike world. Their presence undeniably brings a real emotion to the viewer.”
Bellet delighted in his work like a peasant in the fields of Provence. Both treat their labors with love and respect and his body of work reflects this feeling. While he worked with Park West, Bellet said that he felt enchanted to be able to share his work internationally with his collectors, enjoying such freedom to create.
EMILE BELLET: ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Bellet has held numerous exhibits in France: Grenoble, Aix en Provence, Cannes, Marseille, Lyon, and Megeve. He has also held numerous exhibitions overseas: Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Switzerland and Japan (Gallery Mainichi). He currently enjoys permanent exhibits in Cannes, Lyon, Salon-de-Provence, Grenoble, Toulon, and Annecy. His impressive resume also includes illustrations for “Les Cahiers d’Art, Regards vers Ailleurs, Empreintes” (The Notebook of Art, A Look Beyond Printmaking).