587
587
Alfred Stevens
BELGIAN
LES PAPILLONS
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 25,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
587
Alfred Stevens
BELGIAN
LES PAPILLONS
Estimate
10,00015,000
LOT SOLD. 25,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Art

|
New York

Alfred Stevens
1823 - 1906
BELGIAN
LES PAPILLONS
signed AStevens and dated 82 (lower left)
oil on panel
25 7/8 by 17 1/4 in.
65.7 by 43.8 cm
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We would like to thank the Comité Alfred Stevens for kindly confirming the authenticity of this work, which will be included in their catalogue raisonné now in preparation. 

Provenance

Georges Petit, Paris (acquired directly from the artist, 1882)
Private Collection, United States (acquired from the above, 1885)
Mr. and Mrs. Louis H. Pelouze, New York (by 1911) 
Judge Peter K. Leisure, New York (2006, by descent through the family from the above) 
Thence by descent to the present owner

Exhibited

Paris, Galeries Georges Petit, Exposition Internationale de Peinture, 1882, no. 42 
Nice, Exposition Internationale, 1883-84, no. 77A 
Brussels, Salon de Bruxelles, 1884, no. 794 
New York, Berlin Photographic Company, Alfred Stevens, February 27-March 11, 1911, no. II (as Mdme. Sarah Bernhardt and her son Maurice, lent by Mrs. Louis H. Pelouze)

Literature

Courrier de l'Art, September 19, 1884, no. 38, p. 447 
Alfred Stevens, Tableaux dont je me souviens, 1889, Registre, no. 365 
Gustave Vanzype, Les Frères Stevens, Brussels, 1936, p. 103, no. 76 
William A. Coles, Alfred Stevens, exh. cat., The University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Montréal, Canada, September 10, 1977-March 19, 1978, pp. 81, 145 (under no. 35, as Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt and her son Maurice)
Christiane Lefebvre, Alfred Stevens, Paris, 2000, p. 109, no. 115, illustrated p. 104

Catalogue Note

Alfred Stevens was a dedicated chronicler of the modern Parisienne, and his compositions recorded in great detail the latest fashions and the most fashionable spaces of Belle Époque Paris, from glamorous interiors to cafes and parks. The present lot depicts a well-dressed mother who watches as her child chases butterflies. Stevens’ energetic composition has been brought to life by his quick brushstrokes and bursts of color, the flowers and butterflies appearing like confetti across the cool grass.

When Les Papillons was exhibited in New York in 1911, it was known as a portrait of the actress Sarah Bernhardt and her son, Maurice. However, recent scholarship has determined that this is unlikely, as Maurice would have been seventeen in 1882. Stevens painted Bernhardt on at least five occasions, and given that the actress was such a fashion icon for women, and that styling oneself à la Sarah Bernhardt was a popular trend, it is possible that the present figure was painted with the star in mind.

19th Century European Art

|
New York