Boulevard Heloise, Argenteuil (1872)
painting 41 of 272 by Alfred Sisley
Information about painting
The town of Argenteuil on the Seine was less than a thirty-minute train ride from Paris’ Gare Saint-Lazare. The river widened at Argenteuil, and it became a popular spot for boating and water sports, attracting industry as well. After Monet moved there in 1871, he often hosted colleagues like Sisley. Sometimes the two friends set up their easels side by side, as they seem to have done on the Boulevard Héloïse. Argenteuil attracted well-to-do yachtsmen, but here it is the working town that Sisley records. He seems most concerned with its shapes and textures and the delicate colors of the pale winter sky. A softening of detail conveys the chill of a damp day. Of all the impressionists, Sisley was the one most committed to landscape and to the impressionist style in its most pure form, never abandoning, even temporarily, impressionism’s goal of capturing the transient effects of light and atmosphere.