Alfred Stevens, Mlle. De Rohan, undated_ISANG Collection

- Born in Belgium Stevens spent much of his life in Paris. Known for his daring experimentation with colour his early work focused on hard daily life as a subject, much influenced by the social –realist works of Gustave Courbet. Later in his career he moved towards realist paintings of the sophisticated women in her milieu. Not mythological or historical female figures or portraits, but modern women who dwell in intimate salons or boudoirs like precious objects. He painted their outward glamour but shattered the idyll of their luxurious home spaces by rarely painting them in rooms with windows, reinforcing the works depiction of the subject’s interior self, their melancholy or unfulfilled passions and desires. A nineteenth- century viewer would have had the awareness based on the clothes the women was wearing to reference her place in society. In Mile. De Rohan a women in her black mourning dress removes her pure white gloves whilst mischievously looking towards a bouquet of flowers and note on the table. A fallen women eyes twinkling with the excitement of a new suitor.