Alfred Sisley, French and British, 1839-1899
Title: The Banks of the Canal du Loing at Saint-Mammès
Date: 1888
Medium: Oil on canvas
38.2 x 56 cm
Signed: lower right: Sisley '88
Credit Line: Purchased, 1934
Object Number: NGI.966
DescriptionAlfred Sisley met Renoir, Bazille and Monet while studying at the studio of Charles Gleyre in 1862. He later exhibited at four Impressionist exhibitions between 1874 and 1882. Sisley was primarily a painter of landscapes and his works rarely include figures. During the 1880s he painted multiple views of the village of Saint-Mammès located at the confluence of the Seine and Loing rivers. When he executed this work he lived in the neighbouring village of Moret-sur-Loing. Writing to Monet in 1881 Sisley described the region:‘It’s not a bad part of the world, rather a chocolate-box landscape. When I arrived there were many fine things to do, but they have worked on the canal, cut the trees, made quays, aligned the banks.’ Here, Sisley has taken a direct view of the canal banks and divided the composition into horizontal bands representing the sky, the far bank and the foreground. He has created light effects on the varied surfaces by using different types of brushstrokes. Small touches of intense colour convey the broken surface of the water, the orange-tiled rooftops, the boatmen, and their vessels, while longer criss-crossed strokes denote the straggling grasses in the foreground.

March 2016
ProvenanceDurand-Ruel, Paris; Erwin Davis, New York; bought back by Durand-Ruel, Paris, 14 April 1899; purchased, Durand-Ruel, Paris, 1934
Exhibition HistoryLoan Exhibition of Modern Continental Paintings, National College of Art, Dublin, 1944

Centenary Exhibition, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin, October - December 1964

Retrospective Alfred Sisley, Isetan Museum of Art, Tokyo; Fukuoka Art Museum, Fukuoka; Nara Prefectural Museum, Nara, March - June 1985

Alfred Sisley, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 3 July - 18 October 1992; Musée d'Orsay, Paris, 28 October 1992 - 31 January 1993; The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore, 14 March - 13 June 1993

French 19th and 20th Century Paintings from the National Gallery of Ireland: Corot to Picasso, Daimaru Museum, Tokyo, 5 September - 17 September 1996; Daimaru Museum, Kyoto, 10 October - 22 October 1996; Kawaguchiko Museum of Art, Yamanashi, 26 October - 2 December 1996; Daimaru Museum, Umeda,Osaka, 22 January - 9 February 1997; Aomori Municpal Gallery of Art, Aomori, 2 April - 20 April 1997

Von Poussin bis Monet. Die Farben Frankreichs, The Arp Museum Bahnhof Rolandseck, Remagen, 22 March - 6 September 2015; Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, 10 October 2015 - 17 January 2016
Label TextThe Impressionist painter Alfred Sisley specialised in landscapes and river views. During the 1880s, he frequently painted Saint-Mammès, a village located where the Seine and Loing rivers meet. Writing to Monet in 1881, Sisley described the region saying - ‘It’s not a bad part of the world, rather a chocolate box landscape.’ In this picture, he presents a direct view of the canal banks using varied brushstrokes. Small touches of intense colour convey the broken surface of the water, the orange tiled rooftops, the boatmen and their vessels, while longer crisscrossed strokes denote the straggling grasses in the foreground.

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