The Visit

A woman wearing a luxurious dressing gown sits on a velvet sofa and leans on a mahlstick, an implement used by painters to steady the hand. Her visitor, still wearing a hat and shawl, examines the painting on the easel. Surrounding them are Japanese fans, ceramics, screens, and lacquered boxes that were considered very fashionable among the upper classes in nineteenth-century France.


[Vander Donckt frères, Paris, in 1878, probably sold to Vanderbilt]; William H. Vanderbilt, New York (1878–d. 1885); George Washington Vanderbilt, his son, by descent (1885–d. 1914);¹ Cornelius Vanderbilt III, his nephew, by descent (1914–d. 1942); Grace Wilson Vanderbilt, his wife, by descent (1942–45, her sale, Parke-Bernet, New York, 18 Apr. 1945, no. 148, ill., as The Morning Call); [Knoedler, New York, sold to Clark, 20 April 1945]; Robert Sterling Clark (1945–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

1. George Washington Vanderbilt placed this and a number of other works on long-term loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1886. The works were returned to his nephew in 1919.

Alfred Stevens

Belgian, 1823–1906

The Visit

c. 1870

Oil on panel

25 1/2 x 18 5/8 in. (64.7 x 47.3 cm)

Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1945