// Bellor // 1911 - 2000 //

His life and career


Born in Arlon on 30 July 1911 under the sign of the Lion, to Henri Miessen, enlisted in the gendarmerie, and Marie Majérus, a housewife.

1911 - 1928

He studied modern humanities at the Institut Ste-Marie des Frères Maristes d’Arlon. He was scarcely 15 years old, when a classmate of his, astounded by his drawing ability, convinced him to enrol in the Académie des Beaux Arts of Arlon where he stupefied his professors with his natural quality and mastery of drawing. Few documents have been preserved from that period (apart from precious self-portraits dated 1926 and 1928).

When he had completed his higher education, his taste turned also to architecture, and his parents enrolled him in the Tournai Academy, where the professors immediately transferred him to the last year’s drawing course.


After 4 years of study, and following a dispute with his parents, he discontinued his studies and did his military service in the corps of the Chasseurs Ardennais in 1933.

1934 – 1939

After serving in the army, then « went up » to Brussels and thanks to his qualities, and his 4 years of experience in Architecture in spite of it all, René Miessen embarked on a career in advertising design in the studios of several large stores where he rapidly made a name for himself.

1934 – 1935

Bellor worked for a year with the Ets. Bodart & Bodart in Saint Gilles


Draughtsman-decorator at Sarma.

1936 – 1938

Draughtsman for Au Bon Marché


Bellor wedding


His first son, Guy, was born.

1939 – 1944

Right after the mobilisation, he worked for 3 months with the Ets. Gautier.


With war looming, he was mobilised and stationed in Amay

His participation in the war lasted from 9 to 28 May 1940, and after the capitulation, with his unit under German control, he escaped from a column of prisoners and joined his family in Brussels. A second son, Vivain, was born at the end of 1940, and a third, Serge, at the end of 1941.

The war period is a series of small assignments in the press and cinema poster line as well as in advertising, where not much was happening at the time, as well as some « odd jobs » to get by.

Known and appreciated in this world of advertising which is still closed, he is again called upon as soon as the war is over. He would go on to illustrate in particular the famous postcard of MacAuliffe’s « NUTS » reply to the Germans during the Von Rundstedt offensive. He was also behind the famous poster campaigns of the Galerie NOVA and the caricatures of Hitler’s defeat. That put him in a delicate position during the German offensive in the Ardennes which was fortunately stopped at Bastogne. Later, he created the famous « head » of the boar that graces the berets of the Chasseurs Ardennes as well as the low-relief project that decorates the monument dedicated to this corps in Martelange.

1945 – 1953

This turbulent period led to the establishment of important networking, and once peace was restored, he worked with many agencies that called on his services as a consultant outside their artistic creation desks.

He worked directly for several large stores, for the Ministry of Naval Affairs and the Ministry of Road Safety. He produced many works for prestigious Belgian firms.

THighly diversified, he also created costumes for the dancers of the famous Brussels cabaret « Le Bœuf sur le Toit » as well as advertising creations for Jean Omer’s « Le Gaity » cabaret.


He had a small villa built in Stockel (Municipality of Wezembeek-Oppem) in the outskirts of Brussels, where he moved with his wife and 4 children (his fourth child, a daughter, was born in 1945).

1953 – 1956

he worked again as a sales representative, draughtsman/creative artist for the Ets. Gautier, a manufacturer of advertising panels.


A family problem led to the breakdown of the marriage and the couple divorced.

He stayed in the family home with his sons; his daughter went with her mother.

He was joined by his parents who helped him bring up 3 teenagers.

1957 – 1962

He moved to Paris and freelanced for many advertising agencies. He continued his collaborations in Belgium and concurrently pursued his career as a painter in the surrealist vein which had pervaded Europe in the inter-bellum.

He never wanted to join literary circles or be part of all those fleeting schools of painting of the 20th century.

His life away from his worktable or his easel was spent in museums and major exhibitions in Europe.


Following the sale of the family villa that year, Bellor, his parents and 3 sons moved to Brussels, but Bellor lived in large measure in Paris with his lady friend and her child.

He adored Paris, where he initially lived in the Hôtel Nicole, Rue Nicole at the end of the Boulevard Montparnasse near the Jardins de l’Observatoire. This period of his life in a room on the 6th floor without lift is reminiscent of the way some artists lived at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century.

It was at this time that he opted for the alias « Bellor » because the French massacred his name on a regular basis, so he chose an artist name that was easy to pronounce in all languages.

Daisy, or Féline as he called her, had been the reason why his marriage broke down. Idealised, she would remain his muse until her death, and serve as a model for many of his works.

During this period, he continued to shine in France and Italy, whilst responding regularly to commissions in Belgium.

1966 - 1986

After his father died (in 1966) and with his companion in failing health, he returned to Belgium, where he stayed with his mother and concentrated henceforth only on painting. He exhibited in 1975, and was immediately hailed for his incomparable quality.

Bellor remained a loner, however, did not like the media spotlight, and worked using the famous and very difficult glazing technique – the reason for which he did not produce many paintings. With each exhibition in which he took part from 1975 to 1983, his knowledge never failed to impress, and art lovers and critics were unanimous in seeing in him a rare and elite artist, outside movements that had accustomed the general public to the pressures of a market that had nothing whatsoever to do any more with the fine arts and was no longer of interest to real art lovers, but to investors.

1986 – 2000

Disappointed by the ways of the art market and its practices, he refused to show his work to the public any more, and continued to paint, either alone in front of his easel, or by visiting and revisiting museums to study the techniques of artists of the past without respite.

From this time until his death, Bellor continued to work every day. He sold only by word of mouth to art lovers who were familiar with his work.

He attached great importance to drawing throughout his life, in particular to the sketch, where the speed of execution requires superior expertise.

1999 - 2000

He unfortunately caught pneumonia from which he recovered quite well, and after 3 months of revalidation at the institute of Dr Derscheid in Waterloo, he moved into a small and comfortable apartment on the Rue aux Laines, near the Sablon.

He suffered a fall which unfortunately proved fatal, and he joined his muse on 13 February 2000.

His death, like his life, did not receive extensive media coverage, but a major Belgian daily ran the headline


« And his will and testament at the same time: devote himself to his art body and soul, close the eyes, look inside, see the surreal unconscious gush, his endless dreams, his enchanting spells…. Fine art! »

Bernadette Lehembre // Brussels News 2010

The exhibitions


- Exposition des peintres du Luxembourg
Arlon (Belgium)


- Galerie Isy Brachot (exposition d’ensemble)
Brussels (Belgium)


- Galerie Nova
Brussels (Belgium)


- Création des costumes du cabaret “Le Bœuf sur le Toit”
Brussels (Belgium)


- Galerie de Berry
Paris (France)


- Galerie Lecomte Ullmann
Paris (France)


- Galerie des Beaux Arts
Paris (France)


- Galerie Maine Montparnasse
Paris (France)


- Galerie des Eperonniers
Brussels (Belgium)


- Centre Culturel de Mouscron (Rétrospective)
Mouscron (Belgium)

- Callens
Knokke (Belgium)


- Galerie Paul Ide
Brussels (Belgium) -> 1979


- Galerie Jan Demaere
Brussels (Belgium)


- Galerie Jan Demaere
Gent (Belgium)


- Casino de Knokke
Knokke (Belgium)

- Château de Burdinne
Burdinne (Belgium)


- Galerie Jan Demaere
Brussels (Belgium)

- Kunstbeurs
Utrecht (Netherlands)


- Galerie Artemis
Sint-Martens Latem (Belgium)

- Galerie Aelbrecht
Rotterdam (Netherlands)

- Casino de Knokke
Knokke (Belgium)

- FIAC 83 Grand Palais
Paris (France)

- 8ième foire d'art actuel Palais des Beaux Arts
Brussels (Belgium)


- Galerie Ozenne
Paris (France) -> 1986


- Lineart
Paris (France)


- Salon de Gand (ensemble)
Gent (Belgium)

- Hommage au peintre au Salon d’Eurantica
Brussels (Belgium)


- ARTE.ON Gallery
Knokke (Belgium)


- Biennale de Florence
Florence (Italy)


- Mgallery
Brussels (Belgium) - Collection 1939-1940 / La bataille des Ardennes

Malines (Belgium)


- Mgallery
Brussels (Belgium)

- Galerie du Dragon
Mons (Belgium)

- ART London 2006 / Hilton London (ensemble)
London (United Kingdom)

New York (United State of America) - Waldorf Astoria


- Rollebeek Gallery
Brussels (Belgium)


- Mgallery
Brussels (Belgium) - Permanence dessins, gouaches, huiles sur toile -> 2014


- MIESSEN Gallery
Brussels (Belgium) - 100ième anniversaire de la naissance de Bellor