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Collection of papers relating to Alfred Stevens, 1816-1933 (bulk 1863-1898).

Available at Special Collections  SPECIAL COLLECTIONS - CONTACT REFERENCE  (870350 ) and other locations()

  • Title:
    Collection of papers relating to Alfred Stevens, 1816-1933 (bulk 1863-1898).
  • Creation Date: 1816-1933 (bulk 1863-1898).
  • Biographical/Historical Note: Belgian painter.
  • Arrangement: Organized in four series: I. Letters received; II. Family correspondence. III. Letters sent; IV. Miscellaneous documents.
  • Physical Desc.: ca. 160 items..
    2 microfilm reels : positive ; 35mm..
    2 microfilm reels : negative ; 35mm..
  • Summary: The collection's earliest item is a record of the 1816 marriage of Alfred Stevens's parents; the latest items are letters from his son to his daughter. However the bulk of the collection dates from the 1860s to the end of the 19th century and comprises letters from officials, patrons, admirers, fellow artists, and friends; correspondence among members of the Stevens family; a very few letters sent by Stevens to people outside his family; and miscellaneous documents that primarily relate to Stevens's career as a painter.
    I. Letters received (ca. 60 items). This series includes letters dating from the early 1860s to the early 1890s. Senders include: Alphonse Allard (two letters, 1886, 1887) of whose wife Stevens had painted a portrait; Baron Bayens (?), Belgian minister of foreign affairs (three letters); Charles Bourgeois (four letters); Eugène Devaux, announcing the death of Meissonier in a telegram; Henri Lefort (four letters, 1887) who mentions that he does not understand why Stevens does not like the etchings Lefort made of Stevens's work for an exhibition in Brussels; Camille Lemonnier (three letters); Jean Portaels (seven letters, 1863, 1866 and undated) congratulates Stevens in 1863 for being named Chevalier of the Legion of Honor and also complains about the "système de récompenses"; Jean Rousseau, Belgian Inspecteur général des Beaux-Arts, (six letters, 1886-1891) writes in 1888 that the state will buy Stevens's picture Salomé and in 1891 that he regrets that Stevens cannot direct the Academy at Antwerp; James Tissot (three letters); and Charles Verlat (two letters, 1885) regarding the placement of paintings at the Antwerp World's Fair.
    II. Family correspondence. This series primarily contains correspondence between Stevens and his children and between the siblings (ca. 25 items). Eleven letters from Alfred to Léopold (1871-1897) discuss the art world and their painting; in a letter of Mar. 18, 1896 he states: "le belge, ignore ne sait pas beaucoup, mais est plus peintre, naturellement peintre, que le Français." Seven letters from Léopold to his father, undated except for one from 1890 in which Léopold refers to when "tu me conseillais de me méfier d'avoir l'air de toujours vouloir faire un chef-d'oeuvre." Sixteen letters from Alfred to Jean (1891-1897) discuss art, criticism, and his health and faith. Five letters from Alfred to Catherine (1893-1906); in one dated 1898 he discusses her marriage. Also a pencil portrait of a young woman (Catherine?), briefly annotated. Two letters from Léopold to Catherine (1923 and 1933).
    The rest of this series comprises letters received from Alfred's brother Arthur Stevens (18 items, undated) in which Arthur discusses dealing in paintings, articles read in Le Figaro, family matters, friends, and enemies. Also includes six letters from Alfred's brother Joseph to their mother, two dated Oct. 1869 and Nov. 1872, the rest undated.
    III. Letters sent (14 items). Include letters to a Mr. Manuel (1889) asking whether he is pleased with his portrait; Mr. Waldeck (1891); and Mme. Waldeck (n.d.), postponing a portrait sitting. Eight letters to unnamed or unidentifiable correspondents; one, dated 1884, includes a small sketch to identify one of his paintings which Stevens wishes to borrow for an exhibition at Galerie Petit.
    IV. Miscellaneous documents (ca. 30 items). Most items reflect Stevens's career, including: a manuscript list of works exhibited at the salons of Brussels (1851), Paris (1853), and Anvers (1855) and the Exposition universelle (1855); a 1859 telegram ("Alfred est décoré") and letters announcing a médaille d'or at the 1851 Brussels exposition and a médaille pour l'art at the 1875 Vienna exposition; a receipt for 1,000 francs received from Herman Léon; a manuscript list of works with prices, showing Stevens's accounts with the dealer Petit for the period 1879-1887; an accounting statement from the dealer Guerin (1888); and the text of the toast delivered at the installation of the panels of the Panorama du siècle (Feb. 25, 1889). Other items include a declaration by Stevens's doctor that Stevens may not leave his house (1896) and several passports, promissory notes, and receipts.
  • Language: French
  • Cumulative Index/Finding Aid: Unpublished expanded box list available in the repository: folder level control.
  • Additional Formats: Collection Available on microfilm; For use in the repository.
  • Subjects: Painting -- France -- Paris Artists -- Belgium
  • Contributors: Stevens, Alfred, 1823-1906. Stevens, Arthur. Stevens, Jean. Stevens, Joseph, 1816-1892. Stevens, Léopold, 1866-1935. Allard, Alphonse, 1831-1900. Bayens,, Baron. Bourgeois, Charles. Lefort, Henri. Rousseau, Jean, 1829-1891. Tissot, James, 1836-1902. Lemonnier, Camille, 1844-1913. Portaels, Jean, 1818-1895. Verlat, Charles, 1824-1890. Galerie Georges Petit.
  • ID/Accession Number: 87-A483
  • Access/Rights: Open for use by qualified researchers.
  • OCLC Record Number: 83810479
  • Source: GRI Library Catalog

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