Alexis-Simon Belle was born in Paris; the son of portrait painter Jean Belle. He trained with his father and then with François de Troy, a painter at the exiled court of James VII and II at St Germain-en-Laye. After the death of the exiled King, he continued to work for his son, James Stuart. In 1700 he won the Prix de Rome but remained in France to continue with Jacobite commissions. In 1703 he was elected a member of the Académie Royale de Peinture et Sculpture. Demand for portraits of Stuart was so great that by 1706 he was running his own atelier. In 1714, he joined the new Jacobite court in Bar-le-Duc, north-eastern France. He also completed commissions for the French court and examples of his work are in the collection at Versailles.
Prince James Francis Edward Stuart (“The Old Pretender”) (1688-1766) Jacobite claimant to the thrones of England, Scotland, and Ireland
Oil on canvas
height: 73.50 cm, width: 61.00 cm
Purchased from Colnaghi's, April 1952
Collection of Mark Fawdry of Haining Castle, Selkirkshire; by whom sold through Sotheby’s, London, on 13 February 1946 (Lot 38); from which sale purchased by Colnaghi, London; from whom purchased by Colonel K. R. Palmer, Tanrago, Beltra, County Sligo, Ireland, on 13 February 1946 for £85; by whom sold through Christie's, London, on 23 February 1951 (Lot 133), bought in (reserve of 44 guineas); with Colnaghi London; from whom purchased by the Ministry of Works in April 1952
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