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Memories and Regrets

Alfred Stevens

Belgian, 1823–1906

Memories and Regrets

c. 1874

The woman in Stevens’s painting appears in her undergarments, with her gown, parasol, and fan piled nearby. The writing drawer of the dressing table is half-open and a letter is about to slip from her hand. Her downcast face and slumped posture suggest she is lost in reverie. Such carefully detailed scenes, accompanied by titles offering a tantalizing hint of narrative, were the artist’s specialty.

Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 24 3/16 x 18 1/4 in. (61.4 x 46.4 cm) Frame: 32 7/8 x 26 7/8 x 2 1/2 in. (83.5 x 68.3 x 6.4 cm)
Object Number 1955.860
Acquisition Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1933
Status On View

Image Caption

Alfred Stevens, Memories and Regrets, c. 1874, Oil on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.860.

Bibliography

Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.

Provenance

William H. Stewart, Paris (until 1898, his sale, American Art Association, 3–4 Feb. 1898, no. 93, ill., as Remembrance and Regrets, sold to Knoedler); [Knoedler, New York and Paris, from 1898]; Gabriel de Yturri, Paris (by 1900–d. 1905, bequeathed to Montesquiou); Comte Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac, Paris (1905–d. 1921); probably Robert Ochsé, Paris;¹ [Galerie Brame, Paris, until 1933, sold to Durand-Ruel]; [Durand-Ruel, New York, on deposit from Durand-Ruel, Paris, 8 May 1933, sold to Clark, 22 May 1933];² Robert Sterling Clark (1933–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.

1. Gustave Vanzype,  Les frères Stevens, 1936, illustrates this painting and notates it as “à M. Ochsé, Paris.” There is no other source for this provenance. Objects belonging to Robert Ochsé appeared in Paris sales in 1928 and 1937; he is the likely owner.
2. According to the Durand-Ruel Archives, their New York branch bought this painting from Galerie Brame on 1 June 1933, later, that is, than the date Durand-Ruel New York sold it to Clark. The painting was, however, deposited with the New York branch by the Paris branch on 8 May, possibly on behalf of Galerie Brame, though the records are unclear on this point. See correspondence of 24 Apr. 2001 in the Clark’s curatorial file.

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