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Alfred Stevens

ALFRED STEVENS

Alfred Stevens was a Belgian painter out of Brussels. He was brought up in a wealthy family in which each member was involved in some form of the arts. Stevens was a part of the Romanticism movement and was known for depicting scenes of upper-middle class life in Paris, specifically the elegant, wealthy women of the times. His works were so skillful and the subjects so alluring, that they caught the attention of Napoleon III, the Emperor of France. In the painting entitled, “Ce que l'on appelle le vagabondage,” meaning, “What is Called Vagrancy,” Stevens presents a woman handing money to a young mother, so that she and her children will not be locked away by the present policemen. Napoleon III was so shocked upon seeing this work, he asked to have the painting removed altogether. Stevens’s view of those living in squalor was shocking and politically charged, unlike the elegant women he painted, that it had an influence on those in power.

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