The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

in focus

Was Alfred Sisley’s Britishness the reason he wasn’t always given credit as a great Impressionist master?

As a new exhibition opens in Paris to mark 150 years since the birth of Impressionism, Alastair Smart considers why Alfred Sisley, the talented peer of Monet and Renoir, has often been lost from the story of the most influential movement in art history

Sunday 14 April 2024 06:00 BST
‘Alfred Sisley’, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1870-6
‘Alfred Sisley’, by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, 1870-6 (Mr and Mrs Lewis Larned Coburn Memorial Collection)

Shortly before Alfred Sisley died, in January 1899, Claude Monet labelled him “as great a master as any who has ever lived”. High praise – albeit not shared by posterity.

One of six artists who comprised the core of Impressionism (Monet, Degas, Renoir, Pissarro and Berthe Morisot being the others), Sisley is largely forgotten today. Certainly by comparison with his peers.

At his best, his works – landscapes typically – reveal wondrous plays of light and atmospheric effects. Not to mention exquisite brushwork and a harmonious use of colour.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in