Alfred Sisley* -*

Alfred Sisley

Alfred Sisley (October 30, 1839 – January 29, 1899) was a British Impressionist landscape painter who lived and worked in France.


Sisley was born in Paris to English parents, William Sisley and Felicia Sell. In the early 1860s he studied in the atelier of Marc-Charles-Gabriel Gleyre, where he became acquainted with Frederic Bazille, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Together they would paint landscapes en plein air (out-of-doors) in order to realistically capture transient effects of sunlight. This approach, innovative at the time, resulted in paintings more colorful 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, although unlike some of his fellow students who suffered financial hardships, Sisley received an allowance from his father.

Sisley's student works are lost. His earliest known work, Lane near a Small Town is believed to have been painted around 1864.

In the late 1860s, he entered into a relationship with Eugenie Lescouezec, with whom he had two children. This relationship continued for over 30 years, ending with her death a few months before Sisley's own in 1899.

Sisley was in London with Monet in 1871, when they discovered the paintings of J. M. W. Turner and probably John Constable. Although Sisley was no theorist, these discoveries had an influence on his development as an Impressionist painter.

Among the Impressionists Sisley has been overshadowed by Monet, whose work his most resembles, although Sisley was less experimental, and tended to work on a smaller scale. Described as having "almost a generic character, an impersonal textbook idea of a perfect Impressionist painting", his work strongly invokes atmosphere and his skies are always very impressive. His concentration on landscape subjects was the most consistent of any of the Impressionists.

Sisley died in Moret-sur-Loing at the age of 59.

Well-known works

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.

Alfred Sisley. (2007, January 23). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:58, February 2, 2007, from

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