Impressionism Landscapes: Snow at Louveciennes by Alfred Sisley

Snow at Louveciennes was made in 1874. Because Alfred Sisley lived in Louveciennes, so he was quite familiar with what he depicted. At the same time, he was a nature-lover and the painter who was good at observing the nature. The in-depth observation and strong expressive force made the Alfred Sisley painting have a unique charm.

The winding path, stagger home, far and near trees and low fence were intertwined to constitute complete snow scenery. This compact composition was due to the painter’s close observation for the scenery. And the most charming was not the composition, but the processing of color and light. One of the biggest contributions of European painting impressionist painters lied in the optical and color theory applied in painting. After the long-term tenacious research and exploration, they successfully created scientific and new outside light painting skill, which greatly enriched the color language of the painting.

Snow at Louveciennes showed the snow with the lofty white and grey to achieve the harmony and lyric effect in the color, which was very rare in landscape at that time. The main tone of the painting was purple grey: the roof, roads, walls, trees and fences were covered with snow. The purple gray highlighted the raw and yellow houses and walls. Such bright color block made the depressed winter into the warmth and joy. The light was simple and calm with bold and powerful strokes. Such delicate turn of the natural colors was the unique technique of painter’s expression of feelings, and was not contrary to the fixed phenomenon of the nature.

Sislev once said, “Such technique is quite similar to the layout of China’s arbor. Meanwhile the relative warm tone made the cold winter show a moderate joy. This light effect with an almost physical expression must be expressed on the canvas in the same substance form.” It most appropriately performed the features in light and color of Snow at Louveciennes. The artistic conception of the painting was ingenious, and the kind of poetry was static and warm, giving the audience with warmth. Unfortunately the Impressionists had not been widely understood, Sisley was unable to sell it to change the poor situation, and he finally died in poverty and loneliness.

snow at louveciennes 1874 by Alfred Sisley

snow at louveciennes 1874

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