Villeneuve-la-Garenne (1872)

Sisley, Alfred (1839-1899)

Oil on canvas, 59 x 80.5 cm
Hermitage MuseumSaint Petersburg

Impressionist painters turned repeatedly to the depiction of small provincial towns like Villeneuve-la-Garenne. This canvas comes from the early period of Impressionism and still retains elements of traditional compositions, with the centre of the landscape framed by trees, creating a stage-like effect. Yet this does not deprive the painting of its naturalness: Sisley had a fine lyrical sense and had the rare gift of being able to capture the modest charm and gentle beauty of nature. In this painting the “hero” is the vivid sunlight illuminating the buildings, seen from the shade beneath the trees. Sisley successfully captured that feeling of cool air, contrasting with the still heat of the opposite bank. (SHM)

See also:

• Villeneuve-la-Garenne (France)