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Painting The Past In The Present with Artist Ellie Burelli

Written By Château de Gudanes


Posted on November 26 2020

Walking through the Château’s grand halls and corridors, and winding up and down her sweeping staircases, it is impossible not be swept away in romantic imaginings of the past. To bear witness to the height of her long lost glory and the lives of countless generations who have lived here. For glimpses of times long forgotten flicker before you like candlelight…

Tracing a finger along the walls and ancient stonework what secrets do they hold and what memories do they keep?

Naturally, at the Château we have a love of anything and everything antique. Whether time-worn or pristine, aesthetic or practical, for reasons of craftsmanship or sentimentality. And following suit, Shop The Château too weaves the past together with the present by mixing old and new timeless treasures.

And so, today we are honoured to share with you the story of one of our special sellers whose work perfectly reflects the spirit of Shop The Château in the way they bring traditional craftsmanship into a modern context. Transforming pictures of the past into a present frame of reference, Ellie Burelli (a “nom de plume” for artist Ellie Hesse) reimagines the paintings of old masters to create her own magnificent masterpieces… 

Through her work Ellie becomes both a historian and an artist by capturing the essence and character of the historical subject in the painted medium. Her process begins by travelling back in time as she researches the fascinating personal histories of her subjects. Allowing her to recreate their image in all the royal splendour of the past. Notable ladies and gentlemen dressed in luscious silks and rich velvets trimmed, tasselled and bejewelled appropriately for their unique time in history… 

Ellie's fascination with old portrait paintings began when she was just a small child growing up in historic England. Surrounded by antiques and old curiosities, every evening, Ellie’s father, who was an antiques dealer, would proudly present the family with his latest found treasures. The walls of her family’s home were filled with old paintings, some by her Scottish Grandmother, who was a portrait painter. 

Despite her familial connection to painting, and her family’s encouragement, Ellie didn't immediately choose an artistic path but she soon returned to art and has been painting professionally since 2001. Since starting her artistic career, Ellie’s work has been exhibited widely in galleries across the UK and Internationally, and her Baroque inspired pieces have found homes in collections across the globe in Europe, the US and as far as New Zealand.

Ellie’s historically inspired portraits, which she features on Shop The Château, are in fact a more recent addition to her portfolio. The idea for which came to her during the quiet and reflective period she was fortunate to enjoy in the midst of the lockdown of March 2020. Initially, she focused her painting on the French Baroque and Rococo eras and has since been further exploring portraiture from earlier periods such as the English Tudors and Italian Renaissance.


Appropriately, Ellie currently lives amongst the magnificent monuments, sculptures, fountains and architecture of one of the world’s most beautiful ancient cities in Italy, along with her French partner who is also an artist.

Merci beaucoup Ellie for being part of Shop The Château and for sharing your beautiful artwork and journey with us. To our readers, à la semaine prochaine and in the meantime we are wishing you a safe and sound start to the festive season. 


With love, 

Karina and the Château Team x