Alfred Stevens built his reputation based on paintings of sumptuously attired, anonymous beauties who were representative of a type-la belle Parisienne. The Portrait of Mademoiselle Dubois, in contrast, is a bold statement built upon direct observation of one of his students with whom he was well acquainted. Her appraising and direct gaze, as well as her relaxed posture and confident demeanor, is a daring concoction and testifies to the artist's appreciation of her intelligence and character. These qualities are thrown into high relief by the stark expanse of awning behind her. Stevens' use of such a bold foil is an innovative touch of modernity that parallels those of his close friend, Edouard Manet. The compressed space also betrays Stevens' interest in Japanese spatial construction-a reminder that he was one of the first artists in Paris (along with Manet) to collect Japanese prints and objects.