Alfred Stevens Biography | Oil Paintings.

5-11-1823 Brussels, BEL – 8-24-1906 Paris, FRA

Stevens, Alfred

Alfred Stevens (the painter) left middle school and was sent by his parents to study art at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels. The director of the school François Navez was and an old friend of Stevens's grandfather and former student of Jacques-Louis David. In 1843, at the age of twenty, Alfred Emile LéopoldStevens went to Paris and was admitted to the École des Beaux-Arts, the most important art school in the world.

Alfred Léopold Stevens had his first public exhibition with three of his paintings were accepted for the 1851 Brussels Salon. In 1853, he was awarded a third-class medal at the Paris Salon, and two years later at the Universal Exposition in Paris, a second-class medal. In 1858, Stevens married Marie Blanc, who came from a rich Belgian family that was old friends of his father, and Eugène Delacroix was a witness at the marriage ceremony.

During the 1860s, Alfred Léopold Stevens became an immensely successful painter, known for his paintings of elegantly dressed modern ladies. His exhibits at the Paris and Brussels Salons attracted both buyers and critical attention. His circle of friends included Impressionists Édouard Manet, Edgar Degas, Berthe Morisot, and James McNeill Whistler.

Although Alfred Stevens was not French, he volunteered and fought in the French Army during the siege of Paris in the Franco-Prussian War, but returned to Belgium with his family before the Paris Commune, the radical government that ruled Paris for two months. They returned after the war, and Stevens continued to achieve critical acclaim as well as great success with art patrons. In 1875, he bought a mansion with a grand garden in Paris on Rue des Martyrs, his home and garden were used in his paintings as well as those of other artists, including his friend Édouard Manet who painted The Croquet Party in the garden. Due to the development of a road, he had to leave the house a short time later in 1880, which was named after him, and he was compensated with over US$1.0 million.

In spite of acquiring a significant income through the sale of his oil paintings, during the 1880s, Stevens bad investments and excessive spending caused him great financial difficulties. Additional expense came from his summers by the sea, for health reasons on doctors orders. The Paris art dealer Georges Petit offered him 50,000 francs (equal to US$350,000 today) to finance his health vacations by the seashore in exchange for all the paintings Alfred Léopold Stevens delivered during that time.

Later in life, despite numerous exhibitions, he was not able to sell enough of his art to manage well financially. He died in Paris in 1906 at the age of eighty-three, living alone in modest rooms, having outlived his brothers and most of his friends.

Art Movement: Realism Art.
Artists Influencing Alfred Stevens: Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Gerard ter Borch, Gabriel Metsu.
He Traveled To France.
Painters Alfred Stevens Influenced: Berthe Art, Charles Bell Birch, Marie Collart-Henrotin, Louise De Hem, Georgette Meunier, Lilla Cabot Perry, and Fernand Toussaint.
Artist Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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