Paul César Helleu (French, 1859–1927) was a printmaker and painter, famous for his portraits of well-known aristocratic women. Born in Brittany, France, Helleu studied under Jean-Léon Gérôme (French, 1824–1904) at the École des Beaux-Arts. While in Paris, Helleu befriended many of his contemporaries, such as James Abbott McNeill Whistler (American, 1834-1903), John Singer Sargent (American, 1856–1925), Claude Monet (French, 1840–1926), and Auguste Rodin (French, 1840–1917); Sargent would become an important collector and proponent of Helleu’s work. In 1912, he traveled to New York City where he was commissioned to paint the astrological ceiling mural over Grand Central Station’s central hall. His work is in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, the Louvre in Paris, and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.