Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sisley, Alfred

Flood at Port-Marly
Oil on canvas
50 x 61 cm
Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rouen

Alfred Sisley (1839 – 1899) was an Impressionist landscape painter who was born and spent most of his life, in France, but retained British citizenship.
He retained a passionate interest in the sky, which nearly always dominates his paintings, and also in the effects of snow, the two interests often combining to create a strangely dramatic effect. He never deviated into figure painting.
He did not promote himself in the way that some of his fellow Impressionists did, and it was only towards the end of his life, when he was dying of cancer of the throat, that he received something approaching the recognition he deserved.

Port-Marly is a town along the Seine River. Sisley lived and painted there. The subject of flood and people rowing to their houses is unusual. The water breaks the usual relationship with land and flooding around.