A wonderful early 20th-century half-length portrait of a lady by Belgian painter, Charles Joseph Watelet (1867-1954). She’s holding a rose close to her face as she captures its scent for the very first time.
Her skin tones are beautifully rendered with Watelet’s characteristically soft touch and the light is reminiscent of the impressionists.
Watelet had a talent for portraiture and was prolific from the 1900s through to the 1930s. He seemed to favour women, particularly during the Art Deco era.
This piece is unusual due to its unfinished nature and has only recently surfaced following years within a private collection in Belgium. The sketched arms and torso give it a mysterious, almost ethereal, quality and we love it.
Watelet studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels and won a gold medal at the Paris Salon in 1925.
The painting is housed within a fine hand-carved foliate frame with a decorative inner border. Signed ‘Esquire C J Watelet 1909’ in the bottom right.
Oil on canvas
27” x 33” / 68cm x 84cm
Year of creation
Artwork in excellent condition. Frame with various losses to its gilding.
Artist’s auction highlight
£15,710 achieved at Galerie Moderne, Belgium, in 2007.