It was typical of Sisley to be interested in this unpretentious motif with a factory on the banks of the Seine. He has given us a traditional view of the motif but has worked experimentally with the reflection of the building and the trees in the water. The sketch-like Impressionist way of painting produces a highly atmospheric picture.
With Impressionism the perception of nature also changed, as we can see when we compare this with, for instance, the Barbizon School’s landscape paintings. Sisley and several of the other Impressionist painters were interested in the factory motif as a sign of modern industrialization amidst nature. They showed an unproblematic, almost idyllic juxtaposition of nature and culture which is far from the perception of industrialization as a polluting, nature-destroying factor at the end of the 20th century.
Sisley stayed for long periods outside Paris in various towns along the Seine, where he cultivated the potential of Impressionist painting for describing the interplay and contrasts among the distinctive features of the river, the buildings on the banks, the trees and the weather. A central characteristic of Sisley is his almost classic Impressionism.
Motifs: Landscapes and town pictures, especially from Louveciennes, Marly-le-Roi and Bougival along the Seine.
Read more about Sisley at http://www.musee-orsay.fr/