Alfred Sisley

DatesEnglish, 1839 - 1899
RolesArtist
NationalityEnglish / French
BornParis, France

Born in Paris of English parents, Alfred Sisley studied business in London from 1857 until 1861. There he saw and admired the paintings of John Constable and Joseph Mallord William Turner. Dissatisfied with his studies, Sisley returned to Paris intent upon becoming an artist. There he met Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet. Frequenting the cafés with his new friends, Sisley absorbed the ideas that led to the Impressionist style. During the Franco-Prussian War and the Paris Commune in the early 1870s, Sisley fled to London. The war caused him a severe reversal of fortune: most of his paintings were either lost or destroyed, and his father lost his fortune. Reduced to extreme poverty, Sisley had to support himself and his family through modest sales of his work. Not one for self-promotion, he never gained the recognition he deserved.

Back in Paris, Sisley exhibited at the Impressionist exhibitions in 1874, 1876, 1877, and 1882. A pure landscape painter unconcerned with the challenge of history painting, he celebrated the intimate qualities of the places he lived in, exploring the effects of changing light and weather and mapping scenes from a variety of viewpoints in different seasons.

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