Art Sunday: Alfred Sisley – Resting by a Stream at the Edge of the Wood

Resting by a Stream at the Edge of the Wood is an 1878 painting by Alfred Sisley, now in the Musée d’Orsay.  It was given to the French state in 1906 as part of Étienne Moreau-Nélaton’s collection.

Alfred Sisley was an Impressionist landscape painter who was born and spent most of his life in France, but retained British citizenship. He was the most consistent of the Impressionists in his dedication to painting landscape en plein air (i.e., outdoors). He deviated into figure painting only rarely and, unlike Renoir and Pissarro, found that Impressionism fulfilled his artistic needs.

Among his important works are a series of paintings of the River Thames, mostly around Hampton Court, executed in 1874, and landscapes depicting places in or near Moret-sur-Loing. The notable paintings of the Seine and its bridges in the former suburbs of Paris are like many of his landscapes, characterized by tranquillity, in pale shades of green, pink, purple, dusty blue and cream. Over the years Sisley’s power of expression and colour intensity increased.