Although Alfred Sisley is considered one of the key figures of Impressionism, he remained somewhat of an outsider from the group. In 1865, Sisley moved from Paris to Marlotte, a small town located in north central France, and this painting is one of two he made based on his initial encounters with the new landscape he found there. Village Street in Marlotte portrays a solitary figure chopping wood. A somber palette of greens, browns, and grey-blues underscores an overall feeling of isolation. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Sisley seldom traveled and did not feel compelled to depict urban life, industrialization, and the more dramatic aspects of nature, contenting himself with painting the world close at hand.
Label from Humble and Human: An Exhibition in Honor of Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., February 2–May 26, 2019