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Alfred Sisley, The Watering Place at Marly-le-Roi

Key facts
Full title The Watering Place at Marly-le-Roi
Artist Alfred Sisley
Artist dates 1839 - 1899
Date made probably 1875
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 49.5 × 65.4 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, Courtauld Fund, 1926
Inventory number NG4138
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Watering Place at Marly-le-Roi
Alfred Sisley

Sisley painted this winter scene in the small village of Marly-le-Roi in early 1875, soon after he moved there. The village was the site of the Château de Marly, which had been built in the late seventeenth century for Louis XIV, King of France, as a retreat from Versailles. It was later demolished. The watering place in the foreground of the picture was one of the last remnants of the château’s grand water gardens. Sisley lived very close by and painted almost 20 pictures that include it.

He very probably worked on the picture outdoors in one sitting: it looks as though it was painted quickly using a limited range of colours. The paint has been thinly applied and the rapid brushwork is clearly visible, particularly in the foreground. A few details and colour highlights were added once the paint had dried.

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