Stevens, Alfred

PAINTER (BELGIUM)
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.

Related persons
• 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

Images

The grave of Alfred Stevens at Père Lachaise, Paris.
Picture by Androom (02 Nov 2018)

 

"India in Paris: The Exotic Trinket".
   (1867, Amsterdam: Van Gogh Museum)
 

Sources
• Le Clère, Marcel, Cimetières & Sepultures de Paris, Hachette, Paris, 1978
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Alfred Stevens (painter) - Wikipedia


Stewart, David

Published: 17 Nov 2018
Last update: 17 Nov 2018