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Snow at Louveciennes

Artist: Alfred Sisley
Created: 1874
Dimensions (cm): 45.7 x 55.9
Format: Oil on canvas
Location: Phillips Collection, Washington DC, USA

Snow at Louveciennes

In 1874, artist Alfred Sisley created ‘Snow at Louveciennes’, a spectacular oil painting that captures a mesmerizing scene of early winter in the French village of Louveciennes. The crisp blue, white and grey hues of the winter sky combined with the sleeping, snow-covered buildings, add a sense of early morning tranquility. The trees are outlined with calming, pale colors and gentle brushstrokes that emphasize their fragile winter state. A single woman donning an apron walks along the pathway with umbrella in hand, causing the viewer to ponder on where she is going, or where she is coming from. Moreover, viewers feel invited to walk along with her, into the village of Louveciennes.

Alfred Sisley masterfully applied a combination of various brushstrokes to bring depth and texture to the fallen snow, utilizing a meticulous blending of color to create its numerous delicate features, especially in the accumulation on the walls and fence. Of the approximate fifty winter landscapes that Sisley painted throughout his career, ‘Snow at Louveciennes’ is an absolute masterpiece, a symphonic winter moment in history.

Analysis

“The landscape paintings of Alfred Sisley occupy an inviolable position in the history of early Impressionism. His depictions of the Thames at Hampton Court, the Seine in flood, and the snow bound suburbs of Paris are indispensable to an account of Impressionist landscape painting in the 1870s. Indeed, they are so fundamentally representative of our notion of what constitutes 'pure' Impressionism, that the re-evaluation of the movement in recent years has often left Sisley stranded outside it. This has greatly added to the comparative neglect of his work. He is famous but not known, admired but little studied.” – Richard Shone “Sisley”

‘Snow at Louveciennes’ by Alfred Sisley is currently located at the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.



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