L’inondation – Route de Saint-Germain (1876) by Alfred Sisley

L'inondation - Route de Saint-Germain - Alfred Sisley - 1876

Artwork Information

TitleL'inondation - Route de Saint-Germain
ArtistAlfred Sisley
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions46 x 61 cm
Art MovementImpressionism
Current LocationMuseum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, US

About L'inondation - Route de Saint-Germain

Created in 1876 by Alfred Sisley, “L’inondation – Route de Saint-Germain” is an exquisite artwork that encapsulates the essence of the Impressionist movement. This oil on canvas measures 46 x 61 cm and exemplifies a landscape genre. Reflecting the fine characteristics of Impressionism, the artwork is currently housed at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFAH), located in Houston, TX, US.

The artwork portrays a serene yet compelling scene of a flooded environment. The Route de Saint-Germain has been overrun by waters, possibly from a nearby river that has swollen beyond its banks. Leafless trees are aligned on either side of the submerged road, partially reflecting in the calm waters below. The sky above is a montage of soft, grey clouds, suggesting a chilly atmospheric condition, possibly post-rainfall or during the melancholic end of winter.

The mastery of light, a key component of the Impressionist methodology, is evident here through the gentle interplay of light and shadow. This technique creates an illusion of depth and movement in the waters and skies. Figures can be seen in the distance, some in a boat, implying human attempts to adapt to or navigate through these high waters. The houses peeking through the trees on the left are dabbed with warm colors, offering a stark contrast to the cool, reflective tones of the water, which dominates the scene. Sisley’s brushstrokes are loose and rapid, capturing the fleeting mood of the natural landscape and the transient effect of light with immediacy and sensitivity.

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