Portrait of a bearded man dressed in medieval clothing. Signed with initials on the canvas and a biographical label and handwritten annotation on the stretcher: Hyppolite Bellangé, painter of battles. This is one of his last works.
Joseph Louis Hippolyte Bellangé, French artist. Born 17 January 1800, in Paris; died 10 April 1866, in Paris. He was a painter, watercolourist, draughtsman and lithographer. He mainly painted military subjects, battles and genre scenes.
He entered Baron Antoine-Jean Gros’ workshop at a very young age and there he became friends with Nicolas Toussaint Charlet, who had recently published his first lithographs. The young Bellangé followed his colleague’s lead and started producing plates of military costumes and illustrations of Old Guard veterans in Napoleon's armies. He made his début at the Paris Salon with military scenes and his work as an illustrator quickly became well-known, although his genre painting demonstrated greater verve and vivacity. He sought help from Adrien Dauzats in the rendering of architectural features in his battle scenes. He was awarded a second place medal in 1824 and, in 1834, the cross of the Légion d'Honneur. He was one of the first to be named curator of the military museum at Versailles. In 1836, he was appointed curator of Rouen Museum; from then on, he devoted his time almost entirely to painting. His reputation grew steadily throughout his life, and his final painting, La garde meurt, was a genuine triumph. It was shown posthumously to great acclaim at the 1867 Exposition Universelle, as were his illustrations Les deux amis (Sevastopol), 1855; Épisode de la Retraite de Russie, 1863; Épisode du retour de l’île d’Elbe, 1864. He was made an officer of the Légion d'Honneur in 1861. Bellangé's body of lithographic work comprises some 500 catalogue entries compiled by Jules Adeline in 1880.
Source: Benezit Dictionary of Artists; Archives de France.
Artist: Hippolyte Bellangé (1800-1866).
Signed hyp. B. and label on the stretcher.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition.
Dimensions: 56 x 46 cm. / 22 x 18 in.
Frame: 73 x 64 cm. / 28 3/4 x 25 1/4 in. Gilt wood, very good condition.