The Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, has opened the first major retrospective of the art of the French Impressionist Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) in the United States in over twenty years. The major monographic exhibition is comprised of about 50 of Sisley’s paintings, which come from private collections and major museums in Europe and North America. This summer it will travel to France.

The Bruce Museum will premiere the exhibition and be the only venue in the United States. Then it will travel to France, where it will be on exhibit from June through October 2017.

Альфред Сислей. Сентябрьское утро
Сентябрьское утро
Пьер Огюст Ренуар. Портрет художника Альфреда Сислея
Портрет художника Альфреда Сислея
1864, 81×65 см

Alfred Sisley (1839 – 1899) was born in Paris to well-to-do British parents. Initially, he was intended to pursue a career in commerce. Parents sent their 18-year teenager to London, where he spent two years, from 1857 to 1859. In British capital he visited museums, studying both the Old Masters and the great British landscape painters John Constable and J.M.W. Turner.  

On his return to Paris, Sisley was determined to become an artist and enrolled in Charles Gleyre’s studio. There he met and became friends with the future Impressionists Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Frédéric Bazille

Left: Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Portrait of Alfred Sisley, 1864.

"...He traveled with his friends to the Forest of Fontainebleau for the plein air, and participated in the first Impressionists' exhibition. Surprisingly, in each of these important historical pictures, Sisley always is not in focus. The Invisible Man, he was forgotten by BBC producers when they were making their movie, "The Impressionists."  Art historians have recalled him only on the centenary of his death, his first real retrospective took place only in 1992... Contemporary researches explain the injustice by the fact that Sisley was stubbornly devoted to the one and only artistic truth which he has found once, and now they try to return the artist his place in the history of Impressionism..." - full biography of Alfred Sisley in Arthive.

Initially Sisley worked in the naturalistic landscape tradition of the Barbizon School. As time went, he increasingly began to adopt a proto-Impressionistic style, painting specific locations in different times of the year and day, and weather conditions. The artist chose and depicted from multiple points of view the landscapes of his residences in the villages along the Seine west of Paris and beyond the Forest of Fontainebleau at Veneux Nadon and Moret-sur-Loing.
Альфред Сислей. Сена близ Буживаля
Сена близ Буживаля
1872, 50.8×65.5 см

Sisley was a painter of light, first of all. He masterfully imbued all of his paintings with it. "One could say that light floods his landscapes, deliciously bathing even the most modest of details." - Anonymous, 'Echo de Paris,' Le Gaulois 1899. 

Альфред Сислей. Под мостом в Хэмптон-Корте
Под мостом в Хэмптон-Корте
1874, 50×76 см
Альфред Сислей. Церковь в Морэ под утренним солнцем
Церковь в Морэ под утренним солнцем
1894, 100×81 см

Landscapes by Alfred Sisley are generally small in scale and tonally relatively restrained. However, the magic with which he captured the effects of the light, the dancing glare on water, the brilliance of winter sun on snow and hoar frost, the movement of the wind in trees, and the depth of the skies create compelling works akin to poetry. They demand close, quiet contemplation and evaluation.

"His very delicate, lively sensibility was at ease before all the glories of nature… Sisley understood lovely light, the transparency of the envelope of air, the mobility and changeability of reflections, the speed of movement",  wrote an art critic, Octave Mirbeau in 1892. 

Left: Alfred Sisley, L'église de Moret au soleil du matin (The Church at Moret in Morning Sun), 1893.

The traveling exhibition Alfred Sisley (1839-1899): Impressionist Master, co-organized by the Hôtel de Caumont Centre d’Art in Aix-en Provence, France, focuses on Sisley’s entire career, from the works exhibited at the 1860 Salon to his views of the picturesque town of Moret-sur-Loing in the 1890-s.

The retrospective underlines Sisley’s artistic ascendance over his Impressionist confrères. Visitors will be able to evaluate Sisley’s radical pictorial strategies in 1870-s, the influence of Japanese prints, photography, seventeenth-century Dutch art, and Constable and Turner on his approach, as well as influence of Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and Eugène Boudin.
Альфред Сислей. Наводнение в Пор-Марли
Наводнение в Пор-Марли
1876, 50×61 см

Alfred Sisley (1839-1899): Impressionist Master will be on display at the Bruce Museum until May 21. Then the exhibition will travel to the Hôtel de Caumont Centre d’Art (Aix-en Provence, France) to be on view from June 10 to October 15, 2017.

The Bruce Museum, Greenwich, Connecticut. Photo: by Wikipedia.

The Bruce Museum was originally organized in 1908, in Greenwich, Connecticut, by Robert Moffat Bruce (1822-1909), a wealthy textile merchant. He deeded his property to the Town of Greenwich, stipulating that it be used as “a natural history, historical, and art museum for the use and benefit of the public." The collection of artworks in the gallery includes works by Frederick Childe Hassam, Emil Carlsen, Auguste Rodin and other masters.

Written by Vlad Maslow on official materials of the Bruce Museum, the Hôtel de Caumont Centre d’Art, and