Alfred Sisley was born on 30 October 1839, in Paris, to affluent British parents. In 1857, he travelled to London to study business but would find the paintings of J.M.W. Turner and John Constable more interesting than commerce. Sisley returned to Paris in 1860, where he took up painting in the studio of Charles Gleyre to whom he had been introduced by Jean-Frédéric Bazille. He would meet Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir in Gleyre’s atelier.
Sisley would quit Gleyre’s studio in 1862, spending the next few years between Paris and the French countryside, where he would paint alongside Renoir and Bazille en plein air. His early work displayed the influence of Gustave Courbet and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot in technique and palette, though this would change over the course of the 1860s. In 1866, he exhibited in the Paris Salon and would exhibit there in 1868 and 1870 also. Up until 1870, Sisley was able to live without much financial hardship due to an allowance from the family business, however the war would bankrupt the business and disrupt the security of his allowance. Nevertheless, Sisley continued to paint and developed his atmospheric style that sought to convey the effects of light upon a landscape.
Sisley sold his first paintings to dealer Paul Durand-Ruel in 1872. He would exhibit for the first time in London that same year, featuring in two separate group exhibitions organised by Durand-Ruel at 168 New Bond Street. Sisley briefly returned to London in the autumn of 1874, where he made several oil paintings of Hampton Court and its surroundings. Earlier that year, he exhibited in the first Impressionist exhibition. Sisley would also exhibit in the second (1876), third (1877), and seventh (1882) Impressionist exhibitions. Sisley had his first solo show at La Vie Moderne, Paris, in 1881 and another solo show at Galerie Durand-Ruel in 1883. He returned to Britain briefly in both 1881 and 1897, but settled in Moret-sur-Loing, near the forest of Fontainebleu, in the early 1880s, where he would remain until his death, painting the local landscape and scenes from the village. Sisley died in Moret-sur-Loing on 29 January 1899.
Sisley’s work can be found in the following selected international collections: the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Phillips Collection, Washington D.C.; Philadelphia Museum of Art; Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia; Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the State Hermitage, St. Petersburg; Neue Pinakothek, Munich; Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris; Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris; Louvre, Paris; the National Gallery, London; the Tate Collection, London.
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