The Bruce Museum is currently running a significant exhibition of about 50 paintings by Alfred Sisley, scheduled through May 21st. The New York Times ran a full page article on the exhibit on February 3rd. The author, Jason Farago, described Sisley as the “Unheralded Impressionist.” Although Sisley was included in the first Impressionist inhibition in 1874 and showed with the leading Impressionist dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, his “near-exclusive focus on landscape has meant that he now appears, fairly or unfairly, largely in the shadow of the big boys” like Monet. The Times article applauds the Bruce and the exhibit curator and Sisley scholar, MaryAnne Stevens, for this retrospective of an artist who “deserves greater attention.”
The exhibit has organized Sisley’s work into four groupings.
His Formative years: 1865 -1870
Sisley trained at the studio of Swiss artist Charles Gleyre, and that is where he met his future Impressionistic colleagues—Renoir and Monet. The first picture shown above, “Spring, Peasant under Trees in Bloom,” was painted during this time.
The Years of Impressionism: 1870-1877
During this time, Sisley worked closely with Renoir and Monet on paintings done in the area outside Paris. The second, third and fourth paintings shown are from this period (all from 1872): “The Grande Rue, Argenteuil,” “The Bridge at Villeneuve-la-Garenne,” and “The Route of Verrieres.”
The Years of Transition: 1877-1880
In 1879 Sisley tried to join the Paris Salon but was rejected. He began to focus on more industrial and commercial subjects and experimented with a “freer and more vigorous brushstroke” and a “more vivid palette” like the yellow and rust-red in “Sevres Railway Station” (1879).
The Years of Maturity: 1880-1899
Sisley’s works were not widely sought during his lifetime. In 1880 and until his death in 1899, a financially stretched Sisley moved to the Moret-sur-Loing area; the small town was less expensive than Paris, more tranquil and had interesting medieval architecture, which appears in the last painting above, “The Bridge at Moret” (1888).
For more information about the Bruce Museum and their exhibits, please visit their Website: brucemuseum.org