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  • Alfred Sisley
    Oct 30, 1839 – Jan 29, 1899
  • View of the Canal St. Martin - Alfred Sisley was an English Impressionist landscape painter who was born, and spent most of his life, in France. Sisley is generally recognized as the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape en plein air (i.e., outdoors). He never deviated into figure painting and, unlike Renoir and Pissarro, never found that Impressionism did not fulfill his artistic needs.
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View of the Canal St. Martin
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  • Alfred Sisley
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  • 1870
    Oil on canvas
    Musée d'Orsay, France.

    Unlike the other impressionist painters (Monet, Renoir, Degas, Pissaro,...), Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) had never been the object of an important retrospective exclusively devoted to his work until this exhibition presented in the Musée d'Orsay.

    This group of works, which gathered over sixty paintings from French and foreign museums, made it possible to follow the painter's evolution throughout his career. Sisley contributed to the birth of impressionism and the elaboration of this particular technique during the 1860's. Thanks to his mastership when the movement took off in the 1870's, he participated in the first exhibition of the group in 1874 together with Berthe Morisot, Degas, Monet and Pissarro.

    His work was almost entirely made of landscapes, at the junction of classical and realistic traditions, half way between Corot's poetry and Monet's "eye".

    From his delicately coloured paintings emanate charm and joy. Sisley was able to transfer on canvas some particular aspects of Paris, the beauty of landscapes in Louvecienne, Marly-Le-Roy and Sèvres as well as the charm of the little town of Moret-sur-Loing and its surroundings. Rural landscapes revealing an attention paid to composition, changing skies of Ile-de-France, half tones of Autumn on the banks of the river Loing; the range of colours used by the painter was mostly centered on light blue, green and grey.

    Finally, the exhibition highlighted the personal stylistic solution he adopted in 1880's until his death in Moret-Sur-Loing.

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  • It was quite exciting unrolling my oil painting of Alfred Sisley's 'View of Canal St.Martin today, it arrived safely and is painted on good linen canvas. Thankyou to Painting Mania and the team. M.Roberts.

Other paintings by Alfred Sisley:

Near Louveciennes 1874
Near Louveciennes 1874
The Church at Moret in Morning Sun
The Church at Moret in Morning Sun
A Cardiff Shipping Lane
A Cardiff Shipping Lane
Chemin de la Machine, Louveciennes
Chemin de la Machine, Louveciennes
Alfred SisleyBorn October 30, 1839, in Paris, France. The consummate landscape painter, Alfred Sisley was born to English parents and made his first trip to London in 1857. It was there that he was inspired by the work of such English landscape painters as Turner, Constable, and Bonnington. He joined other Impressionist artists such as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir in flouting the strict methods of the École des Beaux-Arts in favor of a more naturalistic and realistic portrayal of his subjects.

In 1868, Alfred Sisley's landscape, Avenue of Chestnut Trees near La Celle Saint-Cloud (Southampton), was shown at the prestigious Salon art exhibition. The painting drew upon the soft tonality of Camille Corot and the dramatic massing of Courbet, both of whom were a strong influence on the artist. Sisley displayed six landscapes at the first Impressionist exhibition, and all were largely criticized. Like many of his contemporaries, Alfred Sisley was condemned for his loose and apparently unfinished execution in such works as Autumn: Banks of the Seine near Bougival (1873; Montreal).

Of all of the Impressionist artists of the period, Alfred Sisley was the purest landscape painter. He painted nearly 900 oil paintings and fewer than a dozen were still lifes and only one or two were genre scenes. The remainder were landscapes spanning from the forest of Fontainebleau and Louveciennes, London to Moret and Wales. He eschewed cityscapes, industrialization and human figures for the serenity of a pastoral setting.

Under the patronage of the French baritone Jean-Baptiste Faure, Alfred Sisley was able to return to England in 1874. While there, he painted a series of canvases at Hampton Court, including Molesey Weir, Hampton Court (1874; Edinburgh), which are remarkably fresh and spontaneous. The painting appears relaxed and informal, and the figures of the naked bathers are executed with great economy of means.

Alfred Sisley exhibited at the second and third Impressionist exhibitions, but it wasn’t until he received a mention in Georges Rivière's L'Impressioniste that the painter received any critical acclaim. Rivière wrote of Sisley's charming talent, his taste, subtlety, and tranquility. Alfred Sisley portrayed a timeless view of nature in which man, although present, is never the controlling force. He died on January 29, 1899 of throat cancer.