Seascape, Le Tréport, 1890
Oil on panel
Signed, dated 90 and located ” Tréport ” on the lower left.
Dimensions: 41 x 31.5 cm,
With frame : 67 x 57 cm
Price: 8500 euro

Through a delicate and sensitive work on the light and a free and lively touch, Alfred Stevens delivers here a luminous seascape. We are at the end of the day and the pink of the twilight makes its appearance in the sky. The light makes the sea shimmer with pink and silver reflections. Thanks to the finesse and mastery of his craft, you can feel the lapping of the waves in the foreground. A more detailed sailboat occupies the center of the composition. Some sails in the background are indicated with a brush stroke.

In 1880, the painter experienced difficulties; the beginnings of a new style of painting, impressionism, challenged his pictorial approach. His doctor sent him to Menton, then he traveled to northern France. Berthe Morisot pushes him towards Impressionism which he adopts in his seascapes, whose sensitivity and modernity are in every way similar to those of Jongkind. Alfred Stevens paints this picture at this time of pictorial upheavals.

Son of an art dealer, A Stevens was trained in Brussels by J. F. Navez and C. Roqueplan in Paris.

He exhibited in Brussels and Paris where he often stayed.

He was celebrated as the painter of women, and intitled as “French Gerard Terborch” in reference to his talent for rendering details and sumptuous fabrics, but he also painted seascapes and coastal scenes in a freer, almost impressionistic style close to Eugène Boudin and J.B. Jongkind. His painting is clear and luminous, his paste quite nourished. He was a friend of the impressionists, especially Manet and Berthe Morisot.

In 1886, he wrote the famous “Impressions sur la peinture” (Impressions on painting), which was a great success and was translated into several languages.

Bibliography :

– Alfred Stevens, Impressions sur la peinture, Paris, Librairie des Bibliophiles, 1883, 96 pages.

Le Monde illustré”, August 18, 1883, p. 1-3.

Museums :

In Paris: . Musée d’Orsay,

. Louvre Museum, Graphic Arts Department.

In provinces: . Museum of Fine Arts of Lille.
. Museum of Fine Arts of Rouen.
. Museum of fine arts of Reims.
. National Museum of the Château de Compiègne.
. National Magnin Museum of Dijon.
. Museum of fine arts of Marseille.
. Fabre Museum of Montpellier.

Abroad :

Brussels, Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium
exhibition “Alfred Stevens” from 8.05 to 30. 08. 2009

New York, Metropolitan Museum