SISLEY, Alfred
(b. 1839, Paris, d. 1899, Moret-sur-Loing)


French/British impressionist landscape painter, born in Paris to English parents. He studied under Corot, Gleyre, and Courbet and was (1873) a founding member of the Impressionist group. After 1871, Sisley lived modestly at Moret-sur-Loing and painted subtly shimmering small-town landscapes that reveal a wistful, lyrical sensibility. Influenced by his friends Renoir and Monet in his selection of colours, Sisley was less daring than Monet in his use of the "rainbow palette" and closer to the Barbizon School tradition.

His works, mostly landscapes, are distinguished from those of his colleagues by their softly harmonious values. His family was ruined by the Franco-Prussian War, and his life was a constant struggle against poverty. Not until after his death did his talent begin to be widely recognized.

British by his birth and his nationality, though he lived in France, he is also in the tradition of Constable, Bonington and Turner. If he was subject to the influence of Monet, he moves away from his friend by his will of construction which makes him respect the structure of forms.