Alfred Sisley biography

Alfred Sisley was born in Paris on 30th October 1839 to affluent English parents. His father William ran a business exporting artificial flowers to South America and his mother Felicia, was well known as a society lady interested in 2 art and music. At the age of eighteen Alfred Sisley was send to London to prepare for a career in business, but his four years there were devoted to the commodities market. He spent a great deal of his time in the art galleries and museums. In 1862 Alfred Sisley returned to Paris from a trip and persuaded his parents to consent to his pursuing a career as an artist and in october he joined Greyre's atelier. By December he was enjoying a dinner party given by Bazille at which the other guests included Monet and Renoir.

By 1866 Sisley was exhibiting two works at his first Salon. Shortly after the 1866 Salon he married a young Parisienne, Marie Lescouezec, who was to bear him two children Pierre and Jeanne.

The Franco - Prussian war of 1870-17 proved to be the downfall of William Sisley and inaugurated a lon period of struggle for his son, Alfred and his young family. Sisley's father had been taken ill and his business had crumbled, when he died in 1871 the family was ruined and Sisley was now forced to paint for a living. Fortunately Monet and Pissarro, who had met sympathetic dealer Durand-Ruel in London during the war introduced him to Sisley in 1872 and he was assured of a moderate number of sales.

By the end of 1870s Sisley was still as desperate as ever for money. Several arrangements whereby he would be paid in advance for a number of canvases helped him and in 1879 he decided to renounce the Impressionist exhibitions and try his luck with the Salon once again. But he was rejected by the Salon and then evicted from the house in Serves where the family had been living since 1877.

Throughout the 1880s Sisley lived in the Fontainebleau area and also the artist fortunes began to revive. In 1897 on his return to Moret from England fatal illness began to take hold of him. He was dying of a throat cancer. A brief remission followed in the next year. Week before his death Sisley summoned Claude Monet to entrust his affairs to him. Alfred Sisley died on 29th January 1899 and was buried in the cemetery at Moret-sur-Loing, the ceremony was attended by a few friends including Monet and Renoir.