Alfred Stevens was a painter of portraits, genre scenes and seascapes. He was a student at the Academy of Brussels of François-Jean Navez from 1834 tot 1840. He completed his studies at the École Nationale des Beaux-arts under Ingres from 1844 until 1849. He returned to Belgium and debuted at the Salon de Bruxelles in 1851. He installed himself permanently in Paris in 1852, where he became friends with avant-garde artists such as Charles Baudelaire, Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas. Although Stevens can’t be seen as either an Impressonist or as an Academic painter, he was definitely a Modernist. From 1855 onward, he developed himself as the painter of the mundain woman; his works are as modern in conception as anything painted by Edouard Manet and Claude Monet.