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Sisley, along the water...

The Seine, a source of inspiration for the painters of the Impressionist movement, was the favorite motif of the painter Alfred Sisley.

"The Impressionists and the Seine": one of the two conferences I will give during the "Normandy Impressionist" trip organized from May 12 to 14, 2023.

Alfred Sisley. La Seine à Bougival. 1876. Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC
Alfred Sisley. La Seine à Bougival. 1876. Metropolitan Museum of Art NYC
Portrait d'Alfred Sisley par Pierre-Auguste Renoir, (1874), (The York Project (2002))
Portrait d'Alfred Sisley par Pierre-Auguste Renoir, (1874), (The York Project (2002))

Alfred Sisley, painter and engraver, was born on October 30, 1839 in Paris into a family of wealthy British merchants. Predestining him for a career in commerce, his parents sent him to London in 1857 where he lived for three years. Upon his return to France in 1860, Sisley convinced them that his future was not in business; he then devoted himself fully to painting.



Two years later, during a stay in Argenteuil, Alfred Sisley rediscovered the Seine alongside his friend Claude Monet. This trip marks a turning point in the artist's life. In love with this river, he lived in several riverside towns, and finally settled in 1880 in Moret-sur-Loing, a village at the crossroads of the Seine and the Loing.

Alfred Sisley. Village au bord de Seine. 1872. Musée de L'Ermitage Moscou.
Alfred Sisley. Village au bord de Seine. 1872. Musée de L'Ermitage Moscou.

Over the years, the Seine became Alfred Sisley's favorite motif. He likes to reproduce his color palettes, his light effects and his meanders, reflecting all times and all seasons. Among his paintings, the "Inondations à Port Marly" (1876) representing the flooding of the river, "The Seine at daybreak" (1877), or even "The Bridge of Moret, storm effect" (1887).

Alfred Sisley. La Seine à Argenteuil. 1872. Collection privée
Alfred Sisley. La Seine à Argenteuil. 1872. Collection privée

Alfred Sisley is the Impressionist painter who presented the largest number of canvases reproducing the banks of the Seine. He died on January 29, 1899 in Moret-sur-Loing.


In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...



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