Alexis Simon Belle (1674-1734)
Artist associated with 27 portraits
Parisian-born Belle became a pupil in the early 1690s of François de Troy, one of the painters at the exiled court of James II at St Germain-en-Laye. Troy, at the time the only painter working for James II, was commissioned to produce more portraits than he could manage and he enlisted Belle, his most able pupil, to collaborate. Belle's most famous portrait of James Stuart was painted in 1712 during the negotiations for the treaty of Utrecht, just before James was obliged to leave St Germain for Lorraine. In the years 1716-19 he received many commissions from English and Scottish Jacobites in exile after the rising of 1715.