Alfred Sisley


Artist biography

Alfred Sisley 1839-1899

Impressionist landscape painter, born in Paris of expatriate English parents (but had a French grandmother). Was sent to London for four years to prepare for a commercial career. Then turned to painting and in 1862 entered the studio of Gleyre, where he met Renoir, Monet and Bazille. He and his friends left about five months later and began to paint out of doors, directly from nature, in the region of Paris and in the Forest of Fontainebleau. Exhibited with the Impressionists in 1874, 1876, 1877 and 1882, and had his first one-man exhibition at La Vie Moderne, Paris, in 1883. After working at Louveciennes, Marly-le-Roi, Sèvres and elsewhere on the outskirts of Paris, he settled in 1880 near Moret-sur-Loing, and painted there most of his late works. Also worked in Britain in 1874 (especially around Hampton Court) and 1897 (the coast near Cardiff). He received little recognition in his lifetime and from 1871, when his father was no longer able to support him, spent much of his life in poverty. Died at Moret-sur-Loing.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.690

Wikipedia entry

Alfred Sisley (; French: [sislɛ]; 30 October 1839 – 29 January 1899) was an Impressionist landscape painter who was born and spent most of his life in France, but retained British citizenship. He was the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape en plein air (i.e., outdoors). He deviated into figure painting only rarely and, unlike Renoir and Pissarro, found that Impressionism fulfilled his artistic needs.

Among his important works are a series of paintings of the River Thames, mostly around Hampton Court, executed in 1874, and landscapes depicting places in or near Moret-sur-Loing. The notable paintings of the Seine and its bridges in the former suburbs of Paris are like many of his landscapes, characterised by tranquillity, in pale shades of green, pink, purple, dusty blue and cream. Over the years Sisley's power of expression and colour intensity increased.

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