Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) was a French landscape impressionist of English origin, who lived most of his life in Paris. Sisley is recognized as perhaps the most consistent. if not inspirational, of the Impressionists, never deviating into figure painting finding that the movement did not fulfill his artistic needs.
Modern, newly constructed bridges were often the focal point for compositions by Sisley and other Impressionists. The motif of the cast-iron and suspension bridge at Villeneuve-la-Garenne provides a sweeping diagonal thrust across this riverbank scene along the Seine painted in summer 1872. Sisley painted a more distant and less dramatic view of the same bridge that spring. The application of paint in flat, rectangular strokes and the crisp articulation of form are distinctive characteristics of the artist’s work in the early 1870s.