Alfred Sisley Pierre-Auguste Renoir 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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Pierre Auguste Renoir was friends with fellow impressionist painter Alfred Sisley for a long time. They had met in art class under the tutelage of Charles Gleyre in 1862.

They would go ahead to form an exhibition for impressionist paintings together with other modern painters of the time after their unconventional style of painting had been rejected at the salon, an exhibition for young painters of the time. Pierre Auguste Renoir did a painting of his friend Alfred Sisley in the year 1876. The oil on canvas painting was from other paintings that Renoir had done or was to do in terms of technique. Renoir and his friends a lot of passion for impressionist painting and most of their painting featured these techniques. The painting, Alfred Sisley, was a portrait that has over time received a lot of acclaim as a result of the prowess with which it was done.

In the Alfred Sisley portrait, Renoir painted him sitting astride on a bamboo chair with his head resting on his left hand and his eyes facing down and slightly tilted to the side. The room seems dark with light from a widow piercing the darkness. Renoir exhibits a thoughtful side of Alfred Sisley in this painting. He shows him in a very thoughtful stature but with plenty of serenity. Actually, the portrait does not seem melancholic at all as opposed to many paintings with the same stature. Renoir, through the portrait, was trying to exhibit his friend as the painter that he was and identify Alfred Sisley with his impressionist work. The balance between the shadow and the piercing window light is great for the visual attraction of the painting. The painting creates an aura of romance around it. Possibly, it goes to affirm that Renoir and Sisley were more of friends than painters who worked together.

Renoir worked with several artists after studying art under the tutelage of Charles Gleyre. It is in this class that he met, Claude Monet, Frédéric Bazille, and Alfred Sisley. He worked a lot with Alfred Sisley, no wonder he did his portrait. These team of painters worked hard to advance and create a ground for impressionist painting. Their unconventional painting style could not attract favor among the juries of exhibitions when they were starting their painting endeavors. They had decided not to follow the same painting guidelines that were being taught in art schools at the time. They had noticed that young painters of the time were just copying what their masters were doing, something that was hindering their creativity and unique talents as painters.

Renoir worked on many other paintings that would attract global acclaim over is vast painting career. Among his popular works include; The Umbrellas - Renoir worked on this painting between the year 1881 and 1886. Quite a long time for a single painting. The final painting pieces were however phenomenal. It features an extremely busy street in Paris with most of the ladies carrying umbrellas to guard themselves against the rain. The color and contrast play in the painting is amazing. Part of the painting draws inspiration from classical painting as Renoir had at some point lost interest in the impressionist painting.