Nineteenth-Century European Art - 2 of 7

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The Duchess (formerly known as The Blue Dress)  by Alfred Stevens

Alfred Stevens
Belgian, 1823-1906
The Duchess (formerly known as The Blue Dress)
31.9 x 26 cm
Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1920

Stevens was educated in the conservative, established tradition of the French and Belgian academies of the nineteenth century. The Duchess is a tour-de-force of illusionism, demonstrating his skill as a colorist and recorder of detail. While his subject — a young beauty apparently ruminating over the contents of a letter — had a long history in European art, Stevens updates it by dressing the woman in the height of fashion and surrounding her with furniture and decorations in the Japanese style.

This work is currently included as part of the Clark's international tour.