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Alfred Sisley
Alfred Sisley
(/ˈsɪsli/; 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
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
Seine
and its bridges in the former suburbs of Paris are like many of his landscapes, characterized 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.[1]

Contents

1 Biography 2 Work 3 Selected works 4 Gallery 5 Notes 6 References 7 External links

Biography[edit]

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley
Alfred Sisley
and his Wife, 1868

Molesey Weir
Molesey Weir
– Morning, one of the paintings executed by Sisley on his visit to Britain in 1874

Rest along the Stream. Edge of the Wood, 1878, Musée d'Orsay

Sisley was born in Paris to affluent British parents. His father, William Sisley, was in the silk business, and his mother, Felicia Sell, was a cultivated music connoisseur. In 1857, at the age of 18, Sisley was sent to London to study for a career in business, but he abandoned it after four years and returned to Paris in 1861. From 1862, he studied at the Paris École des Beaux-Arts within the atelier of Swiss artist Marc-Charles-Gabriel Gleyre, where he became acquainted with Frédéric Bazille, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Together they would paint landscapes en plein air rather than in the studio, in order to capture the transient effects of sunlight realistically. This approach, innovative at the time, resulted in paintings more colourful and more broadly painted than the public was accustomed to seeing. Consequently, Sisley and his friends initially had few opportunities to exhibit or sell their work. Their works were usually rejected by the jury of the most important art exhibition in France, the annual Salon. During the 1860s, though, Sisley was in a better financial position than some of his fellow artists, as he received an allowance from his father. In 1866, Sisley began a relationship with Eugénie Lesouezec (1834–1898; also known as Marie Lescouezec), a Breton living in Paris. The couple had two children: son Pierre (born 1867) and daughter Jeanne (1869).[2] At the time, Sisley lived not far from Avenue de Clichy and the Café Guerbois, the gathering-place of many Parisian painters. In 1868, his paintings were accepted at the Salon, but the exhibition did not bring him financial or critical success; nor did subsequent exhibitions.[1] In 1870, the Franco-Prussian War
Franco-Prussian War
began; as a result, Sisley's father's business failed, and the painter's sole means of support became the sale of his works. For the remainder of his life he would live in poverty, as his paintings did not rise significantly in monetary value until after his death.[3] Occasionally, however, Sisley would be backed by patrons, and this allowed him, among other things, to make a few brief trips to Britain. The first of these occurred in 1874, after the first independent Impressionist exhibition. The result of a few months spent near London was a series of nearly twenty paintings of the Upper Thames near Molesey, which was later described by art historian Kenneth Clark
Kenneth Clark
as "a perfect moment of Impressionism." Until 1880, Sisley lived and worked in the country west of Paris; then he and his family moved to a small village near Moret-sur-Loing, close to the forest of Fontainebleau, where the painters of the Barbizon school had worked earlier in the century. Here, as art historian Anne Poulet has said, "the gentle landscapes with their constantly changing atmosphere were perfectly attuned to his talents. Unlike Monet, he never sought the drama of the rampaging ocean or the brilliantly colored scenery of the Côte d'Azur."[4] In 1881, Sisley made a second brief voyage to Britain. In 1897, Sisley and his partner visited Britain again, and were finally married in Cardiff
Cardiff
Register Office on 5 August.[5] They stayed at Penarth, where Sisley painted at least six oils of the sea and the cliffs. In mid-August they moved to the Osborne Hotel at Langland Bay on the Gower Peninsula, where he produced at least eleven oil paintings in and around Langland Bay
Langland Bay
and Rotherslade Bay (then called Lady's Cove). They returned to France in October. This was Sisley's last voyage to his ancestral homeland. The National Museum Cardiff possesses two of his oil paintings of Penarth
Penarth
and Langland. The following year Sisley applied for French citizenship, but was refused. A second application was made and supported by a police report, but illness intervened,[6] and Sisley remained British till his death. The painter died on 29 January 1899 in Moret-sur-Loing
Moret-sur-Loing
at the age of 59, a few months after the death of his wife. Work[edit]

Avenue of Chestnut Trees near La Celle-Saint-Cloud, 1865

Sisley's student works are lost. His first landscape paintings are sombre, coloured with dark browns, greens, and pale blues. They were often executed at Marly and Saint-Cloud. Little is known about Sisley's relationship with the paintings of J. M. W. Turner
J. M. W. Turner
and John Constable, which he may have seen in London, but some have suggested that these artists may have influenced his development as an Impressionist painter,[7] as may have Gustave Courbet
Gustave Courbet
and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot.

La Seine
Seine
au point du jour, 1877, Musée Malraux, Le Havre

He was inspired by the style and subject matter of previous modern painters Camille Pissarro
Camille Pissarro
and Edouard Manet.[8] Among the Impressionists, Sisley has been overshadowed by Monet, whose work his resembles in style and subject matter, although Sisley's effects are more subdued.[9] Described by art historian Robert Rosenblum as having "almost a generic character, an impersonal textbook idea of a perfect Impressionist painting",[10] his work strongly invokes atmosphere, and his skies are always impressive. He concentrated on landscape more consistently than any other Impressionist painter. Among Sisley's best-known works are Street in Moret and Sand Heaps, both owned by the Art Institute of Chicago, and The Bridge at Moret-sur-Loing, shown at Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Allée des peupliers de Moret (The Lane of Poplars at Moret) has been stolen three times from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nice – once in 1978 when on loan in Marseilles (recovered a few days later in the city's sewers), again in 1998 (when the museum's curator was convicted of the theft and jailed for five years with two accomplices) and finally in August 2007 (on 4 June 2008 French police recovered it and three other stolen paintings from a van in Marseilles).[11] A large number of fake Sisleys have been discovered. Sisley produced some 900 oil paintings, some 100 pastels and many other drawings.[12] Selected works[edit]

The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring, 1875. The Walters Art Museum

Flood at Port-Marly, 1876. Musée d'Orsay

Avenue of Chestnut Trees near La Celle- Saint-Cloud
Saint-Cloud
(c. 1865) Village Street in Marlotte (1866) Avenue of Chestnut Trees near La Celle- Saint-Cloud
Saint-Cloud
(1867) Still Life with Heron (1867) The Seine
Seine
at St. Mammes (1867–69) View of Montmartre from the cite des Fleurs (1869) Early Snow at Louveciennes
Louveciennes
(c. 1871–72) Boulevard Heloise, Argenteuil (1872) Bridge at Villeneuve-la-Garenne (1872) Ferry to the Ile-de-la-Loge – Flood (1872) Footbridge at Argenteuil (1872) La Grande-Rue, Argenteuil (c. 1872) Square in Argenteuil (Rue de la Chaussee) (1872) Chemin de la Machine Louveciennes
Louveciennes
(1873) Factory in the Flood, Bougival (1873) Rue de la Princesse, Louveciennes
Louveciennes
(1873) Sentier de la Mi-cote, Louveciennes
Louveciennes
(1873) Among the Vines Louveciennes
Louveciennes
(1874) Bridge at Hampton Court
Hampton Court
(1874) The Lesson (1874) Molesey Weir
Molesey Weir
– Morning (1874) Regatta at Hampton Court
Hampton Court
(1874) Regatta at Molesey
Molesey
(1874) Snow on the Road Louveciennes
Louveciennes
(1874) Under the Bridge at Hampton Court
Hampton Court
(1874) Street in Louveciennes
Louveciennes
(Rue de la Princesse) (1875) The Terrace at Saint-Germain, Spring (1875) Small Meadows in Spring (c. 1881) Le Port de Moret-sur-Loing: Le soir (1884) The Loing at Saint-Mammès (1885), Musée Malraux, Le Havre Storr Rock, Lady's Cove, le soir (1897) On the cliffs, Langland Bay
Langland Bay
(1897)

Gallery[edit]

St. Martin Canal, 1870

Early Snow at Louveciennes, c. 1871-1872

Bridge at Villeneuve-la-Garenne 1872

Sentier de la Mi-cote, Louveciennes, 1873

Fog, Voisins, 1874

Among the Vines Louveciennes, 1874

Bridge at Hampton Court, 1874

Regatta at Hampton Court, 1874

Regatta at Molesey, 1874

Snow on the Road Louveciennes, 1874

Under the Bridge at Hampton Court, 1874

Meadow, 1875

Le Pont de Moret, effet d'orage, 1887, Musée Malraux, Le Havre

Small Meadows in Spring, c. 1881

View of Saint-Mammès, (circa 1880). The Walters Art Museum.

A path at Les Sablons, 1883

Women Going to the Woods, 1886

Seaside, Langland , 1887

Church in Moret, 1889

Saint-Mammès am Morgen, 1890

Notes[edit]

^ a b [Richard Shone: Sisley. London: Phaidon Press 1999. ISBN 0-7148-3892-6] ^ Turner 2000, pp. 400–401. ^ Denvir 2000, p. 265. ^ Poulet 1979, p. 77. ^ A Sisley painting of the south Wales coast ^ BBC Radio 4 6 November 2008, Misfits in France ^ Turner 2000, p. 401. ^ Haine, Scott. The History of France (1st ed.). Greenwood Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-313-30328-2.  ^ Bomford et al. 1990, p. 203. ^ Rosenblum 1989, p. 306. ^ "French National Pleads Guilty to International Stolen Art Conspiracy". earthtimes.com. 10 July 2008. Retrieved 8 August 2007.  ^ Alfred Sisley, page 82, François Daulte, Alfred Sisley, Cassell, 1988. ISBN 978-0-304-32222-0

References[edit]

Bomford, David, Jo Kirby, John Leighton, Ashok Roy, and Raymond White (1990). Impressionism. London: National Gallery. ISBN 0-300-05035-6 Daulte, F. (1959). Alfred Sisley
Alfred Sisley
Catalogue raisonnee de l'oeuvre peint Denvir, B. (2000). The Chronicle of Impressionism: An Intimate DIary of the Lives and World of the Great Artists. London: Thames & Hudson. OCLC 43339405 Poulet, A. L., & Murphy, A. R. (1979). Corot to Braque: French Paintings from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Boston: The Museum. ISBN 0-87846-134-5 Reed, Nicholas, (2008). Sisley on the Thames and the Welsh Coast. Lilburne Press. ISBN 978-1-901167-20-7 Rosenblum, Robert (1989). Paintings in the Musée d'Orsay. New York: Stewart, Tabori & Chang. ISBN 1-55670-099-7 Turner, J. (2000). From Monet to Cézanne: late 19th-century French artists. Grove Art. New York: St Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-22971-2

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Alfred Sisley.

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Paintings by Alfred Sisley.

Alfred Sisley.org Paintings by Sisley

The Impressionists at Biography at the Wayback Machine
Wayback Machine
(archived 6 March 2005) Impressionism : a centenary exhibition, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, December 12, 1974 – February 10, 1975, fully digitized text from The Metropolitan Museum of Art libraries

v t e

Impressionism

Originators

Frédéric Bazille Eugène Boudin Gustave Caillebotte Mary Cassatt Paul Cézanne Edgar Degas Armand Guillaumin Édouard Manet Claude Monet Berthe Morisot Camille Pissarro Pierre-Auguste Renoir Alfred Sisley

Patrons

Gustave Caillebotte Henry O. Havemeyer Ernest Hoschedé

Dealers

Paul Durand-Ruel Georges Petit Ambroise Vollard

American artists

William Merritt Chase Frederick Carl Frieseke Childe Hassam Willard Metcalf Lilla Cabot Perry Theodore Robinson John Henry Twachtman J. Alden Weir

Canadian artists

Henri Beau William Blair Bruce William Brymner Marc-Aurèle de Foy Suzor-Coté Maurice Galbraith Cullen Helen Galloway McNicoll James Wilson Morrice Robert Wakeham Pilot

Other artists

Marie Bracquemond Giovanni Battista Ciolina Lovis Corinth Antoine Guillemet Nazmi Ziya Güran Max Liebermann Laura Muntz Lyall Konstantin Korovin Henry Moret Francisco Oller Władysław Podkowiński John Peter Russell Valentin Serov Max Slevogt Joaquín Sorolla Philip Wilson Steer Eliseu Visconti

Other media

Music Literature French Impressionist Cinema

See also

American Impressionism

The Ten

California Impressionism Pennsylvania Impressionism Canadian Impressionism Heidelberg School Amsterdam Impressionism Decorative Impressionism Post-Impressionism

Related

The Impressionists (2006 drama)

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 32004750 LCCN: n79102762 ISNI: 0000 0001 0884 6332 GND: 118614762 SELIBR: 278370 SUDOC: 027361225 BNF: cb11941978b (data) ULAN: 500027485 NLA: 35502761 NDL: 00456732 BNE: XX926141 CiNii: DA02258350 KulturNav: 444de2a5-43e6-47fd-aefa-5ae295e85ebe RKD: 72

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