The Bowes Museum > Exhibitions > 2009 > Alfred Sisley - Impressionist Landscapes

Alfred Sisley - Impressionist Landscapes


The work of Alfred Sisley was on show; the first major exhibition devoted to this leading Impressionist to take place outside London in half a century. 

Alfred Sisley: Impressionist Landscapes comprised of works from this acclaimed member of the Impressionist group, who was described by his contemporary Eugène Murer as having ‘the soul and brush of a poet.’ It spans the years from the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874 until his death from throat cancer in 1899. Born in Paris to English parents, Sisley’s talents were appreciated by his lifelong friends Monet and Renoir, with whom he studied, and his art is now appreciated worldwide. This exhibition, which included loans from private collections and museums, explored Sisley’s captivation with the landscape of the Parisian suburbs of Louveciennes and Port-Marly and the towns along the River Loing. Port-Marly provided Sisley with the inspiration for some of his most famous and celebrated images. This body of work was explored with the inclusion of Port-Marly under Snow, from a private collection and on long term loan to The Bowes Museum. 

“Sisley very rarely painted anything other than landscapes, and would paint the same view at different times of year,” said Emma House, Assistant Keeper of Fine Art at The Bowes Museum. “He delighted in exploring the effects of weather conditions on the landscape. His eloquent brushwork and subtle range of colours and tonal nuances captured the ever changing seasons. “Sisley’s reputation as a leading member of the Impressionist group has been hard-fought. Neglected during his lifetime, he fell into relative obscurity when he died. He was of British parentage and never managed to become a French citizen, which is why he might possibly have been neglected. He retained his British nationality even though he spent so little time here. “This exhibition wass a retrospective to show the development of Sisley’s style,” she added. “As he got older his brushwork became much looser, and his use of colour more vibrant.”

The Bowes Museum grounds are open!


Due to the government announcement on Thursday 17 December, that County Durham is to remain in COVID tier 3 restrictions, The Bowes Museum unfortunately will remain closed to all visitors. However, the grounds remain open to visitors from 10.00 - 4.00 daily, and we are currently hosting a woodland fairy trail, two spring trails and outdoor guided tours are available from 29 March 2021.

As we have already been shut for a number of weeks and there is much uncertainty around possible further restrictions, we have decided to use this period to undertake some work in Café Bowes, alongside performing some much-needed structural repairs to the building, notably to the windows. January and February are usually quieter times for the Museum, often due to severe weather, so we believe that this is the best time to carry out such works with the least amount of disruption to our visitors.

We have therefore decided to remain closed for a period of four weeks following any near-future tier 2 announcement from the government, as this will allow us time to deep clean the Museum prior to reopening our doors once again. We will, of course, keep you updated as the guidelines change.

Your ongoing support during these unprecedented times is hugely appreciated and we very much look forward to welcoming you back into the building as early as possible in 2021.

We hope to be able to offer a few COVID-safe outdoor events over the coming months, about which we shall make further announcements as soon as possible.