Footbridge at Argenteuil Alfred Sisley Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Footbridge at Argenteuil by Alfred Sisley is an oil on canvas landscape of dimensions 38 x 61cm painted in 1872. The artist was obviously prolific as he painted a number of riverscapes and seascapes in the same year, both in England and France as well as many similar paintings in other years.

The artist did many impressionism paintings with river and sea themes containing human interactions with the water, and this piece is typical of his work while he was in France. Although the painting focusses on and is named for the footbridge at Argenteuil, the bridge itself is in the distance in the picture, with a sweep of river and land to the fore.

The immediate foreground, sweeping up to the centre right of the painting shows meadowland with a green path through it. The meadow grass or rushes are long and brown, indicating late summer or autumn. The river comes up to the left, broadening and coming into focus in the centre right of the painting. A little jetty or mooring point has one small blue and white boat tied to it, and a person is walking away from the jetty carrying oars or fishing lines. The person walking towards the house or houses in the centre right, the grey and red house is surrounded by a brown picket fence, the red building beside the house may be another small house or an outbuilding and it has a small poplar-type tree beside it.

A sailing boat is out in the centre of the river, dark with one full white sail and a lone helm. The river is light blue and reflects the white sail of the boat. Further down on the right bank, sailing boats with bare masts are moored. The footbridge in the distance is light gold brown with light reflecting off it, there are five grey plinths holding the bridge in the water. On the far bank of the river, by the bridge are some houses. Behind the bridge and the river, hills rise, grey-green and gold, and you can see field boundaries. The sky above is big, light blue sky partially coveredwith a haze of grey cloud or pollution and small individual grey clouds. There is a flight of birds above the river on the right bank.