La Fillette aux canards signed and dated 'AStevens 1881' (lower right) oil on canvas 101 x 74cm (39 3/4 x 29 1/8in).
PROVENANCE: sold to Georges Petit by the artist, 1881 with Galerie G. Petit, 1906 with Galerie Georges Giroux, Brussels, stock no. 337 Private collection, Belgium
LITERATURE: Archives Stevens, Collection Stevens 870350, Alfred Stevens's sheet accounting, year 1881 Register Tableaux dont je me souviens, 1889, n.347 C.Lemonnier, Brussels, Alfred Stevens et son oeuvre suivi des impressions sur la peinture par Alfred Stevens, 1906, repro.p.XIII Christiane Lefebvre, Alfred Stevens, Paris, 2006, ill. p.133, no. 152.
Alfred Stevens is best known for his paintings depicting elegant society women, but he also particularly enjoyed painting scenes from everyday life. His house and garden at 65 Rue des Martyrs was a haven of green in the heart of Paris where he enjoyed entertaining his friends and contemporary art lovers. Around the corner of the house there was a wooded path leading to a duck pond where children loved to play. Stevens would not have hesitated to set up his easel and paint this scene when he saw the little girl amused by a duck hidden in the grass under the eye of her young and watchful mother.
Originally titled Une mère et sa fille dans mon jardin, it was Georges Petit who titled this work la fillette aux canards when he acquired it from the artist in 1881.
This work will be included in the Catalogue Raisonné on the artist currently being prepared by the Comité Alfred Stevens.