Artwork Title: François Flameng and Paul Helleu

François Flameng and Paul Helleu, 1880

John Singer Sargent

Sargent’s double portrait of these two French artists has an unusual composition. François Flameng (1856–1923) looks out at the spectator with a mildly ironic gaze, while Paul Helleu (1859–1927), behind him and in sharp profile, looks to the left. Frans Hals’s painting The Banquet of the Officers of the St George Civic Guard (1616, Frans Hals Museum), which Sargent copied when he visited Haarlem in 1880, may have inspired the composition. This sketch is inscribed to Flameng, though little is known about Sargent’s friendship with him. Sargent knew Helleu from their student days in Paris and painted him on numerous occasions.
Uploaded on Oct 22, 2017 by Suzan Hamer

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