Sisley. by Richard Shone
Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) was one of the greatest landscape painters of the nineteenth century and a leading figure in the Impressionist movement. This is the most detailed and authoritative survey of his life and work to be published thus far. With a wealth of illustrations, much new research, and an absorbing text, it reveals Sisley as an artist of seductive power and originality.
Sisley's painting was devoted to the landscape. His celebrated scenes of the Paris countryside, views of the flooded Seine at Port-Marly, and colorful regattas on the Thames achieve a superb balance of tones and a poetic evocation of mood while also offering a lively depiction of their subjects. Kenneth Clark described the wonderful series of Thames paintings as embodying "the perfect moment of Impressionism."
And yet, as his friend Arsene Alexandre said, "Sisley lived proud and died poor." His art gained full recognition only after his death, and even now his work is often overlooked. Richard Shone brings to this long-awaited book a fresh eye and an intimate knowledge of the Ile de France, the locale of many of Sisley's paintings. Shone's research has brought to light much new biographical information - on the artist's early career, his struggle to earn a living, and his secluded later years - all of which leads to a greater understanding of Sisley's artistic development. The many full-color illustrations include important series of paintings never before reproduced together in such quantity - the floods, the snow scenes, the church at Moret-sur-Loing, the Welsh coast.
From this landmark book emerges a picture of a painter continually renewing his art, absorbing varied influences yet creating a personal vision of rural France that is as enduring and enchanting as the work of his fellow Impressionists. Richard Shone confirms the truth of Pissarro's description of Sisley as "a great and beautiful artist."
Alfred Sisley catalogue online.