Alfred Sisley
(Paris, 1839-1899, Moret-sur-Loing)
Road Saint-Germain in Marly, 1875
Oil on canvas, 46 x 55 cm
Signed lower right: Sisley
Daulte 156
When Alfred Sisley settled in Marly-le-Roi in 1875 for two years, he had long been acquainted with this district. Since the Franco-Prussian War in 1870/71, he had lived in nearby Louveciennes. From there the route de Versailles, on which Pissarro lived and where Sisley had painted with Renoir, winds down to Marly, entering the village at the Place de l’Abreuvoir. The road is covered with snow through which a horse-drawn cart breaks its way. Snowscapes appeal especially to the Impressionists, above all, Monet, Pissarro and Sisley. The play of light is nowhere so pure as on the snow, nor are shadows with their blue and violet tones nowhere so colourful. Since the snow does not last long in the Ile-de-Françe, the painters must hasten out with their painting gear. Sisley paints two pictures simultaneously at this spot. The cold compels swift concentrated work, which lends the snow scene shot through with blue tones a vividly personal vitality.