Alfred Sisley (1839–99)
The Banks of the Canal du Loing at Saint-Mammès, 1888
Oil on canvas, 38 x 55 cm
This is one of many paintings that Sisley made of the picturesque village of Saint-Mammès and its surrounding countryside in the 1880s. Here he has taken a direct view of the canal banks and divided the composition into horizontal bands representing the sky, the far bank and the foreground. When planning a landscape, Sisley would sketch an outline before applying paint to the canvas. Here, he has used small touches of intense colour to convey different textures: the soft cloudy sky, the broken surface of the water, the figures and boats.
About the artist
Alfred Sisley met Renoir, Bazille and Monet while studying at Gleyre’s studio. Deeply impressed by Monet’s innovations he later worked with him at Argenteuil. Sisley showed at the Salon des Refusés and at four Impressionist exhibitions between 1874 and 1882. It was only after his death that he began to receive due recognition for his work and for his role in the development of Impressionism.