Marly-le-Roi 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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Marly-le-Roi by Alfred Sisley, painted in 1875, is one of a series of 20 paintings comprising the ‘Marly Series’. Sisley lived in Marly from 1874 until 1877.

This series of paintings faithfully captures the town as it was at that time. There are paintings which have been created depicting Marly in various times of the day and various seasons of the year. The town is in north-central France and today, is considered a suburb of Paris. It is picturesque and charming even today. When Sisley came to live in this town, he had been on a painting trip to England. The English landscapes are unique in their own way. For a landscape painter like Sisley, this very different environment must have provided inspiration for his artistic soul.

His series of paintings is like a gift to the Marly of today. The people of this town have the opportunity to see their town in former times, alive and vital. The 1875 painting of Marly-le-Roi appears to show us that the town was predominantly rural in Sisley’s time. The painting isn’t so much of the town as of a road leading into the town. It's not so much of a road as it is a type of dirt track. We can see people walking along the road in the dress of the time, the 19th century. We can see that the time of day depicted seems to be later in the day or perhaps early evening. Perhaps people are busy trying to reach their homes or destinations before nightfall.

Who knows? There aren’t too many people in the picture. We get details of the road, the houses, the trees in the distance. The area is probably built up now, without anything rural about it. An Impressionist snapshot of another age and time. This painting is part of the Corcoran Collection in the National Gallery of Art in the USA. Painter Alfred Sisley was born in Paris in 1839. He spent most of his life in France. Yet being of British origin, he remained a British subject until his death in 1899 at the age of 60. He was an accomplished landscape painter of the Impressionist school. Unlike others of his school, he was almost totally dedicated to landscape painting and rarely ventured into figure painting. He painted several series of paintings for which he is noted and painted British landscapes as well as French landscapes.