Roger de Montebello was born in Paris in 1964.

Since 1992, he has had a dozen solo exhibitions in London, Paris, New York, Madrid and Venice, where his studio looks out over the Grand Canal. He now divides his time between Paris and Venice, disappearing each summer on a tour of bullfights in Spain, often in the remotest villages. Here, sitting in the crowd, he paints the proceedings live and as an ordinary ticket-buying spectator – a far cry from the period he spent as a society portraitist in Madrid.

Whilst his bullfighting paintings are rapidly executed studies in colour and motion, the paintings of Venice on show in ‘Waterfront’ are carefully composed studies in light, reflection and statis, and have an abstract, dreamlike quality that has resulted in Montebello being compared to De Chirico and the artists of the Metaphysical tradition. Indeed, the configuration of the images in these paintings is partly imaginary.

Over the years Montebello has attracted support among the giants of the art world – figures such as René Huyghe, the art historian, curator of paintings at the Louvre, and member of Académie Française. Other champions include the writer and TV presenter Francesco da Mosto (Francesco’s Venice, Francesco’s Italy, etc.), as well as the actor Michael Palin, who has bought a number of Montebello’s paintings. The recently deceased Élie de Rothschild was also an admirer.