Wednesday, October 30, 2013
October 30 - Alfred Sisley
English Impressionist painter Alfred Sisley was born in Paris on October 30, 1839, to affluent, educated parents. In the 1860s he abandoned a business career in London, inspired by works of English landscape painters including Turner and Constable. In Paris, he joined with Impressionists Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir in pioneering realistic and natural depictions of subjects. Most notably, they painted landscapes en plein air (outdoors), not in the studio, to focus on capturing the transient effects of sunlight. Sisley was the most consistent Impressionist of his time, exclusively painting plein air landscapes. Of his nearly 900 oil paintings, fewer than 12 were still lifes. He favored the pastoral Fontainebleau region southeast of Paris, avoiding industrialized cityscapes, and is also known for a series of paintings of the River Thames (1874) near Hampton. One of his most alluring landscapes, “Lane of Poplars at Moret-sur-Loing” (1890, pictured), has been stolen three times from a museum in Nice, and recovered each time, in 1978, 1998 and 2007.