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Helsby was born in Valparaiso in 1862, the son of English immigrants. At the Mackay School in Valparaiso, Helsby's art teacher was the renowned marine and Chilean landscape painter, Thomas Somerscales, who encouraged his young student to paint 'en plein air'. He perfected this method of painting outdoors during trips to Southern Chile with his great friend and fellow artist, Juan Francisco Gonzales. He then moved to Santiago to study painting under Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma.
Securing a grant from the Chilean government in 1906, he travelled to London and Paris where he exhibited with Alfredo Valenzuela Puelma. For a while he studied under Jean Paul Laurens in Paris and Exhibited at the Salon of the Society of French Artists in 1907. Returning to South America, Helsby disembarked at Rio de Janeiro and made his way to Buenos Aires where he held an exhibition in 1909 before travelling back to Santiago. Throughout his career he was never part of and art institution or artist's group and as a result he developed his own unique style using delicate colours in the impressionist manner.
During his life he held numerous exhibitions in the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos, Argentina, and at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Santiago, Chile. He is represented today in the national collections of Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Montevideo and Washington.
|Height||6.50 inch||(16.51 cm)|
|Width||9.75 inch||(24.76 cm)|