Charles Ernest de Belle
Born in Budapest, Hungary, as a boy he drew and painted with the encouragement of his uncle. On his 16th birthday he went to Paris where he studied for four years. He won several scholarships and later, an annual grant from the Royal Academy, London, which enabled him to travel and study in Europe at Antwerp (1885 onwards); Paris (1889 onwards); London, England (1883). In Ireland he was an illustrator for the Dublin Times and he also married an Irish girl. He later returned to England.
In his paintings he developed his own method of fixative for his pastel work and mounted his pictures between two pieces of glass. He started working in oils in about 1904. He came to Canada in 1912 with his wife and children and became a painter of portraits, landscapes, and children. He did some exceptional winter scenes.
He held two large exhibitions in Montreal. One at the home of Lady Mortimer Davis, in 1923 and another at the home of Mrs. Edward Maxwell in 1925. He shifted to oils when ill health deprived him of the rigid control in his hands, so necessary in pastel work. He presented his canvas “In Flanders Field” to McGill University in memory of Dr. McCrae author of the poem “In Flanders Field” and who was a member of the McGill faculty of medicine.
His work is in private collections in the U.S.A., England, Scotland, Ireland, Europe, and in Canada at the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario; Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the Provincial Parliament Buildings, Quebec; Residence of Lieutenant-Governor of Quebec. He also exhibited at the Johnson Art Galleries Limited, Montreal and the T. Eaton Co. Toronto, 1934.
Source: Please note this text is copied from Colin S. MacDonald, A Dictionary of Canadian Artists, Volume 1: A-F (Ottawa: Canadian Paperbacks Publishing, 1967), p. 170-171.