French Impressionism

Alfred Sisley (1839-1899)

    Alfred Sisley's father was a successful business man. This meant that Sisley did not have to rely on the sale of his paintings as a young artist. Sisley preferred to study John Constable and J. M. W. Turner's paintings instead of training for a business career at the age of 17. He met Impressionist artists Monet and Renoir in 1860 at Charles Gleyre's studio. Gelyre encouraged Sisley to paint outdoors. In 1866, Sisley experienced his first exhibition at the Salon, where he displayed two landscape paintings.
    It is clear in Sisley's works that he had been concerned with depicting natural landscapes with the occasional figure or two or a road that dwindled away into a distant village. Sisley displayed, again, two paintings at the Salon in 1870. He could not rely on his father's money and was forced to live off of the sales of his paintings when his father's business was destroyed during the Franco-Prussian War. Two years later, after Sisley met Paul Durand- Ruel, Paul displayed some of Sisley's works in an exhibition in his London gallery.
    In 1874, Sisley contributed six paintings to the first Impressionist exhibition as a founding member. It included his work The Ferry of the Ile de la Loge: Flood and The Machine de Marly. This was a piece that depicted the rising waters of the Seine while it flooded Port-Marly. On numerous occasions such as this one, Sisley was inspired to paint his immediate surroundings. He participated in the second and third Impressionist exhibition, but refrained from taking part in the fourth. Along with Renoir and Monet, Sisley submitted works to the Salon instead that year.
    Towards the end of his career as an artist, critics and colleagues became dissatisfied with Sisley's creations. However, he continued to with the Impressionists. In order to improve his reputation and financial status in the later part of the decade, Sisley experimented with pastel, different seasons, and different times of day. The French government bought Sisley's September Morning in 1888. Sisley never attained the success and status of his colleagues, but was still an influential and important artist in the Impressionist movement.
Machine de Marly (1873)
Ferry To the Ile-de-la-Loge, Flood (1872)
September Morning (1887)