A gorgeous oil on canvas portrait painting by Leon Herbo (1850-1907) of a beautiful, finely dressed lady entitled “White Roses”.
Some other examples of works by this artist are included at the end of the photos.
Frame: Presented in the original highly ornate and heavy wooden frame.
Signature: Lower right.
Provenance: German Private Collection.
Condition: Painting has been recently cleaned and is in good condition. The central frame stretcher marks are faintly visible. The frame is generally in good condition with some evidence of minor repairs. There is some separation and minor losses visible on the left hand side but all the mouldings appear to be secure (see photos).
Measurements: Painting measures 77 x 62cm and the overall frame 113 x 98cm.
Biography: Léon Herbo (1850 – 1907) was a Belgian painter; best known for his portraits of women in casual poses and for his portraits of actors and actresses. He also painted genre scenes; many with Orientalist themes. His wife often served as his model.
He studied at the Académie des beaux-arts de Tournai with Léonce Legendre, the Académie’s Director, and completed his studies at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels from 1869 to 1874. He was ranked first in the preparatory competition for the Prix de Rome; travelling throughout Germany, Italy and France before settling in Brussels.
His first formal exhibit came in 1875, at the Salon van Brussel, and he would continue to hold showings there until the end of the century. The following year, he was one of the co-founders of “L’Essor”, a progressive group that rebelled against the conservative teachings of the Academies.
As well as exhibiting in Belgium, he participated in showings in Paris, at the Salon, in Munich and Berlin. He obtained honorable mention at the Exposition Universelle (1889). That same year, he and the animal painter, Alexandre Clarys, collaborated on creating a monumental canvas depicting the meeting of Queen Marie Henriette with the military squadron named after her.
He was very prolific and created numerous works for commercial use. Many were designed for reproduction by chromolithography, or the decoration of porcelain. Above all, he became the portrait painter at a fixed price and guaranteed likeness. A good example is the portrait of the Crown Prince of Belgium, Léopold Ferdinand, Count of Hainaut, who died in 1869, aged ten, a portrait he painted for Queen Marie-Henriette.
Most of his paintings are in private collections. Some may be seen at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, the Museum of Painting and Sculpture in Kortrijk, and the Musée des Beaux-Arts Tournai.