In 1880 financial hardship forced Sisley to leave Sèvres, in the suburbs of Paris, for the Seine-et-Marne region, south-east of the city. He lived in this area for the rest of his life. The move marked a turning point in the artist's career, and he painted the river landscape with a new vitality and freshness of vision.
This painting depicts 'le Chemin des Petits Prés', the wooded path which ran along the left bank of the Seine, connecting the villages of Veneux and By. It has now been replaced by a paved walkway. The village visible on the opposite bank is Champagne.
The young girl, who has been identified as the artist's daughter, Jeanne, appears as an embodiment of spring.
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