Alfred Stevens (1823-1906) was a Belgian painter who lived in Paris from 1852 on. He was a friend of Manet and was influenced by Japanese prints, as were so many French artists of the time. What is curious about the 4 pictures of elegant society women below is that they suggest he or his sitters may have had a collection of Japanese dolls which he used to add an exotic or colorbul touch to his paintings. Thus the "Indian" elephant admired by a young lady has what is clearly a Japanese doll perched in the seat, and the bright boy doll with shaven head who glows in the corner of "Preparing for the Ball" may be the same one in the lap of the "Lady with Japanse doll."

The four images here are presented courtesy of the Art Renewal Center (ARC) website, where one can buy prints of them. The information about the prints also comes from ARC.

Preparing For The Ball

    Oil on panel
    12.24 x 8.50 inches / 31.1 x 21.6 cm
    Private collection

L'Inde A Paris; Le Bibelot Exotique
    Translated title: India in Paris: The Exotic Curio.
    Oil on canvas
    29.02 x 23.50 inches / 73.7 x 59.7 cm
    Private collection


Title unknown
    Oil on canvas
    Private collection

Femme à la poupee japonaise

    Translated title: Lady with a Japanese Doll.
    1894
    Oil on canvas
    32.01 x 25.75 inches / 81.3 x 65.4 cm
    Private collection