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Alfred Stevens found success with his paintings of elegant young women in imaginary situations, posed against highly decorative backgrounds. In 1880 he became ill with a lung condition and was advised to make regular trips to Normandy for his health, where he made a series of small paintings of the sea.
His jagged brushwork here is quite different from the smooth finish of his pictures of women, one of which, The Present, is also in the National Gallery’s collection.
Oil on canvas
H 66 x W 81 cm
Bought by the Tate Gallery, 1924; transferred, 1956