Charles Ernest de Belle
Painter, draughtsman, illustrator, Charles de Belle was born in Budapest in 1873. As a boy he drew and painted with the encouragement of his uncle. On his 16th birthday he went to Paris where he studied with Mihàly Munkàcsy in Paris from 1889 to 1892. He won several scholarships and later, an annual grant from the Royal Academy in London, which enabled him to travel and study in Europe at Antwerp from 1885 onwards; Paris from 1889 onwards and in London, England in 1883. In Ireland he was an illustrator for the Dublin Times. It was also in Ireland where he met and married his wife. They later returned to England. De Belle lived in London from 1893 to 1912, where he contributed illustrations to the Illustrated London News, the Lady’s Pictorial and for Blackie & Son and William Collins Sons & Co.
De Belle arrived in Montreal in 1912 with his wife and children. He presented his canvas, In Flanders Fields, to McGill University in memory of Dr. McCrae, author of the celebrated Canadian poem of the same title. As well as a poet, Dr. McCrae was a member of the McGill faculty of medicine.
In his paintings, de Belle developed his own method of fixative for his pastel work and mounted his pictures between two pieces of glass. He started working in oils around 1904. He shifted to working in oils when ill health deprived him of the rigid control of his hands, so necessary in pastel works. During his artistic career, De Belle was a painter of portraits, landscapes and children and produced exceptional winter scenes. De Belle was elected an Associate of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Two large exhibitions of De Belle’s work were held in Montreal in 1923 and 1925. He also exhibited at the Johnson Art Galleries Ltd., Montreal, and the T. Eaton Co. in Toronto, 1934. His work is in private collections in the United States, England, Scotland, Ireland, Europe, and in Canada at the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and in the National Assembly in Quebec City and in the Residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Quebec.
De Belle died in Montreal in 1939.
Source: Please note this text is copied from the website of La Corniche Gallery (www.galerielacorniche.com/en/charles-debelle/).