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Artist: Alfred Stevens 1823-1906
[Belgian painter, 1823-1906]

Title: Sunset at Sea

Date: 1882
Medium: oil on panel
Dimensions: 14 x 10 inches (34 x 26 cm)
Location: Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

Image size: zoomable to 2250 x 3480 pixels
              
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Alfred Stevens 1823-1906: Sunset at Sea

 
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Alfred Stevens was a society painter in Paris, lauded in his day as the equal of, if not superior to, his contemporaries James Tissot and John Singer Sargent.

In the 1880s his health was in decline, so he began to escape Paris for several months each year at the seaside town of Sainte-Adresse, on the English Channel. Here he painted many seascapes which are remarkable for their masterful painterly quality, and also for their extreme variety. Each painting seems to be a problem Stevens has set himself: how to capture the endlessly changing light effects in the sky and on the water?

Impressionism is also the study of light, and by this time was quite well-established and beginning to eclipse the Salon painters. But Stevens was no impressionist; he renders a seascape in a much more relaxed manner than his beau monde portraits, but remains essentially a Realist painter recording what the world sees, not what his own eye perceives subjectively.

At the Crocker Art Museum page, be sure to click on "Zoom View" to get a spectacular look at the painting. As with many zoom features, you see less and less of the artwork as you zoom in, but thankfully the window isn't too small for the viewer to enjoy the result.
 
 
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