Léon Herbo is best known for his charming portraits. He also organized exhibitions and lectures and founded art collective L’Essor. He began his career debut with historical compositions, but discovered he had a natural gift for depicting individual sitters with charm, refinement and touch of sensual appeal. He played host, in his cluttered studio, to an ongoing procession of generals and officers, clerics, members of cabinets and the monied classes. He’d become a portrait painter of note among the political, artistic and literary beau monde of his time. Herbo had an expert knowledge of anatomy and a nearly eidetic memory for features, enabling him to create an excellent likeness of any sitter after only one or two posing sessions. Only rarely did the painter try to render the psychology of the model - far more often, he’d create a charming and attractive tableau with a light hand and eye for rich and harmonious blends of light and shadow, setting off the sitter to his or her best advantage. With their sumptuous details, fluid lines and luminous colors, Herbo’s paintings capture the carefree spirit of the age of La Belle Époque to perfection.