IN THE PAINTER’S DRAWING ROOM
Pencil and watercolour on paper: 50 x 65.5 cm / 19.7 x 25.8 ins
Signed under the white dress
Painter of portraits, women, interiors, genre scenes and seascapes; watercolourist.
Alfred Stevens was the brother of Joseph Stevens and a pupil of François-Joseph Navez at the Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels (1834-1841), of Camille Roqueplan at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and later on of Florent Willems. Gustave Courbet and Henri Gervez both painted his portrait. Stevens regularly exhibited at the Brussels Salon from 1851 onwards as well as in Paris and abroad. He was awarded a first class medal at the 1867 Exposition Universelle. He settled down in Paris in 1852. Charles Baudelaire and Gustave Flaubert were regular visitors to his studio and he met several Impressionist painters, including Edouard Manet and Berthe Morisot. From 1880 on, he managed a free Academy for young ladies. Sarah Bernhardt, to name but one, was one of his pupils.
Stevens depicted the frivolity of the Second Empire. He had a very precise style and a bright palette, full of light.
An oil version of the same work, dated 1880, is represented on the cover and on page 72 of the Alfred Stevens Catalogue by Ann Arbor (Baltimore, Montreal 1977 – 1978).
Another version, this time oil on glass, also dated 1880, is represented on page 137 of the Alfred Stevens monography by Christiane Lefebvre (Editions Brame et Lorenceau – Paris 2006).
Origin: Private Collection, Rome.
Brussels 1823 - Paris 1906
Antwerp - Brussels - Compiègne - Ixelles - Liège - New York - Paris - Tournai
P. & V. Berko, "19th Century European Virtuoso Painters", Knokke 2011, p. 516, illustration p. 398-399.
P. & V. Berko, "Dictionary of Belgian painters born between 1750 & 1875", Knokke 1981, p. 604-606.