The local scenery offered a constant source of inspiration to the artist, who tried to capture the relationship between land, water and sky as well as the changing effects of light on his surroundings. As the critic Gustave Geffroy wrote in 1923 about the surrounding landscape that inspired Sisley : 'He sought to express the harmonies that prevail, in all weathers and at every time of day, between foliage, water and sky, and he succeeded [...] He loved river banks; the fringes of woodland; towns and villages glimpsed through the old trees; old buildings swamped in greenery; winter morning sunlight; summer afternoons' (Gustave Geffroy, 'Sisley', in Les Cahiers d'Aujourd'hui, Paris, 1923).
The resulting riverside views, of which the present work is a scintillating example, came to define his personal approach to Impressionism, characterized by a profound sense of place and unique flair for capturing the subtle poetry of his surroundings. The contemporary critic Julien Leclercq saw these compositions as the most serenely accomplished of the artist’s career, admiring “this path, at the river’s edge…so original, so carefully chosen with its tall, evenly spaced poplar trees, so graceful and light. A peacefulness of the soul prevails in these works, a purity and clarity that, as a young man, the painter had intuitively sensed. It is a liberated, candid, poetic art, which bears witness to a dreaming spirit, an enchanted eye and an intelligent hand” (Julien Leclercq, "Alfred Sisley" in La Gazette des Beaux-Arts, vol. XXI, March 1, 1899, p. 236).
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