Alfred Stevens

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Alfred Stevens

Belgian Academic Classical painter

Born 5/11/1823 - Died 8/24/1906

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STEVENS, ALFRED (1828-1906), Belgian painter, was born in Brussels on the 11th of May 1828. His father, an old officer in the service of William I, king of the Netherlands, was passionately fond of pictures, and readily allowed his son to draw in the studio of François Navex, director of the Brussels Academy. In 1844 Stevens went to Paris and worked under the instruction of Camille Roqueplan, a friend of his father's; he also attended the classes at the École des Beaux Arts, where Ingres was then professor. In 1849 he painted at Brussels his first picture, A Soldier in Trouble, and in the same year went back to Paris, where he definitely settled, and exhibited in the Salons. He then painted Ash-Wednesday Morning, Burghers and Country People finding at Daybreak the Body of a Murdered Gentleman, An Artist in Despair, and The Love of Gold. In 1855 he exhibited at the Antwerp Salon a little picture called At Home, which showed the painter's bent towards depicting ladies of fashion. At the Great Exhibition in Paris, 1855, his contributions were remarkable, but in 1857 he returned to graceful female subjects, and his path thenceforth was clear before him. At the Great Exhibition of 1867 he was seen in a brilliant variety of works in the manner he had made his own, sending eighteen exquisite paintings; among them were the Lady in Pink (in the Brussels Gallery), Consolation, Every Good Fortune, Miss Fauvette, Ophelia, and India in Paris. At the Paris International Exhibitions of 1878 and 1889, and at the Historical Exhibition of Belgian Art, Brussels, 1880, he exhibited The Four Seasons (in the Palace at Brussels), The Parisian Sphinx, The Japanese Mask, The Japanese Robe, and The Lady-bird (Brussels Gallery). He died on the 24th of August 1906. Alfred Stevens is one of the race of great painters, wrote Camille Lemonnier, and like them he takes immense pains with the execution of his work. The example of his finished technique was salutary, not merely to his brethren in Belgium, but to many foreign painters who received encouragement from the study of his method. The brother of Alfred Stevens, Joseph Stevens, was a great painter of dogs and dog life.

See J. du Jardin, L'Arifiamand; Camille Lemonnier, Histoire des beaux arts en Belgique.

Source: Entry on the artist in the 1911 Edition Encyclopedia.

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Image courtesy of Don Kurtz

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March 29, 88
Dear Sir
I have a student, Miss Alix d'Anethan, accepted this year to the Salon with a number 3. her painting is entitled (watercolours) four full length women in white. Miss d'Anthon go a mention last year. Mr Gervex and other members of the jury assured me that she could get a good place with a number a the line (cimaise). This is what i am asking you for her, dear Sir. If you could only be so helpful, dear Sir, I can only say that I would be extremely grateful, and if I am sking you this, it is because in Puvis de Chavannes' and my own opinion, Miss d"Anthin is a very talented person (gifted ?)
Please agree, dear Sir, my best wishes15 Avenue Frachat

Image courtesy of Don Kurtz