Pierre Carrier-Belleuse (1851-1932) was born in Paris. His father was the famous painter and sculptor Albert Carrier-Belleuse and along with his brother Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse, he inherited his father’s artistic talent. Carrier-Belleuse studied under Alexandre Cabanel and Pierre-Victor Galland at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris.
Carrier-Belleuse was a skillful painter of landscapes, portraits and genre scenes but he particularly excelled in intimate portraits of women. He chose to emphasise the poise and grace of the feminine body in his works and in particular those of ballet dancers. Carrier-Belleuse paintings of ballet dancers in pastel, a medium the artist became celebrated for, are widely collected in today’s art market.
During the First World War Carrier-Belleuse and Auguste Francois-Marie Gorguet oversaw the creation of the world’s largest painting, the “Panthéon de la Guerre”, fifty-five feet high and four hundred and two feet in circumference, which featured nearly five thousand portraits of notable French and Allied wartime figures. Although later dismantled, portions of this monumental work still survive at the National World War I Museum in Kansas City in the Unites States.
Carrier-Belleuse produced numerous drawings and lithographs for the newspaper Le Figaro throughout his lifetime. He exhibited regularly at the Salon from 1875 onwards and other venues in Paris including the Society of French Artists in 1888 and the National Society of Fine Arts from 1893 to 1911. He received an honorable mention for his work in 1887 and a silver medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1889. His work can be found today in many museums across France, including in La Rochelle, Gray and Le Puy.