BORN 11 May 1823, Brussel - DIED 24 Aug 1906, Paris|
REAL NAME Stevens, Alfred Émile Léopold
GRAVE LOCATION Paris: Père Lachaise, Rue du Repos 16 (division 32, ligne 04 (Chemin Bernard, left of Baron grave))
Alfred Stevens was the son of an art collector who had fought in the Napoleonic wars in the army of William I of the Netherlands. In his youth he met many interesting people at the Café de l'Amitié in Brussels that was owned by his mother's parents. His father died in 1837.
He studied at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, where he knew Francóis Navez, the director. In 1843 he continued his studies at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In 1851 three of his paintings were shown at the Salon in Brussels. His "Ce qu'on appelle le vagabondage" was noticed by Napoleon III who, as a result, decided that the shouldn't be picked from the streets by soldiers anymore. In 1858 he married Marie Blanc and Eugène Delacroix was one of the witnesses.
In the 1860s he was very succesful with his paintings of elegant women. He won a first-class medal at the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1867. Among his friends were Manet, Degas, Baudelaire, Whistler and Puvis de Chavannes. During the siege of Paris he fought for Francem but he left for Belgium with his family bedore the Paris Commune. After his return to Paris he bought a house on the rue des Martyrs in Paris. In 1880 he was forced to leave it because a new street was constructed.
From 1880 onwards he often painted the sea. This started when he was contracted by the art dealer Georges Petit after bad investments and reckless spending had brought him on financial difficulties. He also took pupils, among them Sarah Bernhardt, William Merritt Chase and Louis de Hem. With Henri Gervex he painted "Panorama du Siècle, 1789-1889" that was shown at the International Exhibition in Paris in 1889. At the time of his death in 1906 he lived in modest circumstances.
was teacher to Bernhardt, Sarah
was teacher to Hem, Louise de
was teacher to Hughes, Arthur
was a friend of Sargent, John Singer
was a friend of Whistler, James MacNeill
Le Clère, Marcel, Cimetières & Sepultures de Paris, Hachette, Paris, 1978
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Alfred Stevens (painter) - Wikipedia