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Hubert Francois Gravelot (1699-1773)

Hubert Francois Gravelot (1699-1773)
from Almanach utile et agréable
de la loterie de l’école royale militaire pour l’année 1760

published by Prault,
Quai de Gèvres 1759, British Library, London.






Evelyne Bell was awarded a distinction for an MA from the Dept. of Art History and Theory at the University of Essex under the tutelage of Dr S. Goubert.

For her dissertation she carried out the first investigation of a series of engravings designed by Hubert Francois Gravelot in 1758, which included an Almanac, entitled ‘Almanach utile et agréable de la Loterie de l’Ecole Militaire pour l’année 1760’. The work involved comparative study of 18th century engravings in France, England and Italy and a sociological and historical analysis of games, symbols and the origins of the Royal Military School in Paris around 1750.

Following this study she was appointed a research assistant at Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury where she produced the first catalogue raisonné of the work of Henry Walton. This project required her to work in conjunction with private collectors, local and national archives as well as the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate Gallery, the Courtauld Institute and the FitzwilliamMuseum. She was awarded a fellowship at the YaleCenter for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, USA to complete her research, the result of which was published by Gainsborough’s House.

Since then she has built up a reputation as an international authority on Walton and has advised auction houses such as Christie’s and Sotheby’s, as well as individual and corporate clients.

Her experience includes selling and negotiating sales of 18th century works of art, including the sale of an oil painting by James Forrester to a major London Gallery.

The Folio Society has commissioned her to do some picture research on a number of books such as The Gentleman’s Daughter by Amanda Vickery, Aristocrats by Stella Tillyard, The Varieties of Religious Experience by William James and The Physiology of Taste by Brillat-Savarin. She has also contributed to the publication of 30.000 Years of Art, The Art Museum and Art in Time, a World History of Styles and Movements by Phaidon. She is a member of the Picture Research Association.

She has extensive experience of working in English and French archives and corresponding in different languages with other scholars. She has translated letters for the publication of Goya: a life in letters by Sarah Symmons and correspondence in relation to Mrs Graham as painted by Gainsborough.

She has worked as a consultant on the valuation of the sculpture collection of the Bank of Montreal and for Gainsborough’s House in relation to their acquisition of Gravelot drawings.

She has catalogued and reviewed works belonging to the Victor Batte-Lay Foundation for the Public Catalogue Foundation under the instigation of the National Gallery in London. She has produced several websites: one for the Friends of the Minories, of which she is a member, one for The Constable Trust and, more recently she has created the on-line catalogue of the Victor Batte-Lay Foundation Collection thanks to a grant from the Essex Heritage Trust. She has also curated the exhibition to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Victor Batte-Lay Foundation and an exhibition on graphic art and book illustrations entitled Graphic Art and the Art of Illustration, including works by Paul Nash, John Nash, Eric Ravilious and  Edward Bawden. Both exhibitions took place at the Minories Art Gallery. 

She has recently written an article on portraits by Henry Walton at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University published in the Center’s Journal and an article on the Joshua Reynolds’s portrait of William Gomm for the Leathersellers’ Livery Company in-house Review.

She is at present researching and cataloguing Colchester Art Society permanent collection to be soon published on line.

She is Vice-Chairman of the Friends of the Minories and Colchester Decorative and Fine Arts Society’s Heritage Volunteering coordinator.

Email: evelynecbell@gmail.com