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 Anonymous - Two portraits of the painter Bellanger painting in the open air
Stéphane Couturier - The Grand Palais [I]
 M. Meys (possibly Marcel Meys, working in France in the 1890s) - The painter Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse (?) painting in the open air – street scene
Léon Vidal (?) - Neptune calming the storm and 16th century jewellery
 Anonymous - Photographic collection of ornamental motifs
 Maison Ad. Braun & Cie (which operated under this name from 1876 to 1889) - Two half-length portraits of the painter Camille-Félix Bellanger

The painter Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse (?) painting in the open air – street scene

M. Meys (possibly Marcel Meys, working in France in the 1890s)
Late 19th century – early 20th century
Print on albumen paper on cardboard backing
19,8 cm x 14,6 cm

The painter and sculptor, Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse (Paris, 1848 – Paris, 1913) trained under his father, the famous sculptor and caster Albert Ernest Carrier-Belleuse, then at the Ecole des Beaux-arts (School of Fine Art) under Cabanel and Boulanger. The Petit Palais owns three of his works, including the famous Flour carriers, a Parisian scene (1883).

The “artist’s portrait”, of which this photograph is an original example, evolved significantly in the late 19th century. Posed portraits of major celebrities were standard practice, courtesy of large businesses such as the Braun studio. By contrast, open-air photography promoted a much more spontaneous portrayal of the painter, adopting the image of the “painter in front of his subject” in order to depict this new conception of painting.

The subject here seems to be as much the artist in front of his subject as actual life in the street and the amused surprise of curious onlookers. Figures in the foreground observe the artist, but also the photographer taking a picture of the scene. The photographer could perhaps be trying to justify the subject that the artist has come to seek in a picturesque spot (possibly Normandy or the banks of the Seine judging by the fishing nets hanging above the artist). A portrait of an artist at work becomes for the photographer an opportunity to produce a spontaneous, unposed image which could not be further from official photography.

Marks Inscriptions Hall-marks: 
Marks Inscriptions Stamps: On the reverse of the backing cardboard, a red ink stamp “M. Meys”.
Inventory number: 
PPPH00569
Inventory number : PPPH00569
Acquisition details : Purchase, 2009
This work is not currently on display
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