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Alfred Sisley

October 30, 1839 - January 29, 1899


Impressionist landscape painter Alfred Sisley (French/British, 1839-1899) was born in Paris, France on the 30th of October in the year 1839 to mother, Felicia Sell and father, William Sisley. From the time Alfred Sisley was young, he was surrounded by arts of all kinds. Sisley’s mother was a music connoisseur, and his father a businessman who sold artificial flowers as well as silk. Felicia Sell and William Sisley were both expatriates of Britain, and were also cousins. Thus, Alfred Sisley, although a Frenchman by birth, was also British through his parents and bloodline.

At the age of eighteen, Sisley was sent off to school to become a businessman like his father. He promptly left after attending school for four years, more inclined to painters and painting. He was one of the more dedicated Impressionist landscape artists. He liked to paint his landscape works outside, otherwise known then as en-plein-air, a revolutionary style at the time. He painted the majority of his pieces in this style. Other artists at the time who painted in this new way were Camille Pissarro and Auguste Renoir. The three of them, Sisley, Pissarro, and Renoir, joined a salon, where they could display their art with each other. Sisley was fortunate enough to show some of his works in select galleries, however, since he painted in a new style, not many of his paintings were purchased. The works he showed in galleries, in this new way of painting, were shown among those by other famous painters.

Sisley created many works throughout his life, though most of them were never sold. He died of natural causes in Paris in 1899. He was almost but not entirely bankrupt, thanks to his father, who often sent him money.

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