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Berne-Bellecour Étienne-Prosper

Boulogne 1838 – 1910 Paris

French Painter

Battle Scene

Signature: Signed middel lower left
Medium: Oil on panel
Dimensions: Image size 22 x 27 cm

Berne-Bellecour Étienne-Prosper, born in Boulogne, France, on June 29, 1838, was a versatile French artist whose talents spanned painting, illustration, printmaking, sculpture, and etching. His artistic journey was a testament to his dedication and skill.

Under the guidance of accomplished master teachers and artists François-Édouard Picot and Félix-Joseph Barrias, Berne-Bellecour honed his craft. He furthered his education at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he competed for the Prix de Rome in 1859. During his studies, he also ventured into photography, using this skill to support himself.

In 1867, Berne-Bellecour’s talents extended beyond traditional art as he won a photography prize at the Universal Exposition, showcasing his versatility.

It was the French painter Jehan Georges Vibert who encouraged Berne-Bellecour to devote himself entirely to painting. In 1870, an exciting adventure took place when Berne-Bellecour, Vibert, Alexander-Louis Leloir, and Édouard Detaille embarked on a journey to Africa. However, the onset of the Franco-Prussian War interrupted their expedition, and Berne-Bellecour returned to serve his country.

During his military service, Berne-Bellecour displayed exceptional bravery under fire, earning a medal for gallantry. His dedication and valor were recognized in 1878 when he was named a Chevalier in the French Legion of Honor.

While Berne-Bellecour’s early works encompassed landscapes and portraits, his later creations were centered on military subjects. He became renowned for his depictions of wartime scenes, establishing himself as a master of war art. His legacy extended through his son, Jean-Jacques (1874–1939), who also followed in his footsteps as a military painter.

Berne-Bellecour’s artistic journey came to an end on November 29, 1910, in Paris. Today, his paintings adorn private and public collections worldwide, testaments to his enduring influence and mastery in the world of French art.

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