Georges de Bellio was one of the first amateur collectors of impressionist painting. Descended from Russian nobility, the Bellio family was established in Romania at the end of the eighteenth century by Etienne Bellio, who served as treasurer for the royal family. Etienne's son Alexandre married the daughter of Barbu Vacarescu (who had aspirations to the throne himself). Georges was the youngest of four sons of Alexandre. The elder sons, Etienne and Barbu, remained in Bucharest, while Georges and his brother Constantin moved to Paris in 1851. A great-uncle in Vienna, created a baron in 1817, bestowed his title and an inheritance on Georges, who thereafter adopted the article "de" before his surname. Georges and Constantin shared an apartment on the rue Grange Batellière where in 1863 a daughter, Victorine, was born to Georges and his wife, Catherine-Rose Guillemet. Relations between the brothers deteriorated, and Constantin later committed suicide. Georges occupied himself with his profession as an homeopathic physician. Little is known about his activities in Paris or the origins of his collection, except that he is known to have participated in the Delacroix atelier sale of 1864. In 1874 he purchased a Monet at the first Hoschedé sale, and by the third impressionist exhibition in 1877 he had three more Monets to lend. De Bellio had become personally acquainted with a number of the impressionist artists, possibly through the intermediary of his countryman Prince Bibesco [1834-1902]. At the 1876 impressionist exhibition, de Bellio acquired three paintings by Berthe Morisot, including the Percher de blanchisseuses now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art [1985.64.28]. Numerous pieces of correspondence survive which attest to the relationship between de Bellio and Monet, Pissarro, Renoir, Sisley, and Caillebotte. Georges de Bellio died in Paris in 1984. His collection was inherited by his daughter Victorine, later Mme Donop de Monchy, who donated some of its masterpieces to the Musée Marmottan in Paris, but most of the collection was dispersed at auction.
Niculescu, Remus. "Georges de Bellio, l'ami des impressionnistes." Revue Roumaine d'Histoire de l'Art 1, no. 2 (1964):209+
Monneret, Sophie, L'Impressionnisme et son Époque 4 vols. Paris, 1978-1981:I:66-68
The Sculpture Garden will open on Saturday, June 20, with limitations. The East and West Buildings are currently closed to the public. All on-site events are canceled through December 31, 2020. Learn More.