Feel Art Again: Renoir's "Alfred Sisley and His Wife"

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Alfred Sisley was an accomplished landscape artist, but he is not as well known today as some of his contemporaries, such as Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Today, on Alfred Sisley's birthday, let's discuss Renoir's "Alfred Sisley and His Wife."

1. Alfred Sisley and Pierre-Auguste Renoir met around 1862, when Renoir began studying in Paris under Charles Gleyre.

2. When he was a boy, Renoir worked in a porcelain factory, where he painted designs on fine china.

3. One of Sisley's paintings, "Allée des peupliers de Moret" ("The Lane of Poplars at Moret"), has been stolen 3 times from the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nice. It was stolen once in 1978 while on loan in Marseille; it was recovered a few days later in the city sewers. Twenty years later, it was stolen again, and the museum's curator was convicted and jailed for five years, along with two accomplices. Just nine years later "“ this past August "“ the painting was stolen for the third time. It has not yet been recovered.

4. Renoir painted Sisley and his wife, Eugénie Lesouezec, just two years after their wedding. Unlike other famous painters, Alfred Sisley remained with his wife for the rest of their lives. He died at age 59, just a few months after her death.

5. In Palermo, Sicily, on January 15, 1882, Renoir met Richard Wagner and painted a portrait of the composer in just 35 minutes.

6. During the Paris Commune in 1871, Renoir was almost thrown into the Seine River by commune members who thought he was a spy. A commune leader recognized Renoir, though, and saved the artist from a dunk in the river.

'Feel Art Again' appears every Tuesday and Thursday.

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October 30, 2007 - 5:33am
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